Articles on this Page
- 06/19/13--15:12: _News Wrap: Federal ...
- 06/19/13--15:16: _Obama Calls for Dra...
- 06/19/13--15:26: _Cicada Mania: The E...
- 06/19/13--15:35: _Sen. Tim Kaine: Let...
- 06/19/13--15:43: _Report Argues U.S. ...
- 06/19/13--15:50: _Abolitionist Freder...
- 06/20/13--06:05: _Potential Deal on B...
- 06/20/13--06:52: _A Hormonal Happy Bi...
- 06/20/13--07:51: _Unpromised Land: Er...
- 06/20/13--13:46: _What Makes Us Happy?
- 06/20/13--15:03: _Senators Near Key C...
- 06/20/13--15:13: _News Wrap: U.S. Hou...
- 06/20/13--15:20: _Wall Street Feels P...
- 06/20/13--15:26: _HPV Vaccine Dramati...
- 06/20/13--15:33: _Finding the Connect...
- 06/20/13--15:44: _For NBA and NHL, Th...
- 06/20/13--17:24: _Gwen's Take: How th...
- 06/21/13--06:02: _Senate Forges Ahead...
- 06/21/13--08:12: _Why Those Who Feel ...
- 06/21/13--09:10: _Brazilians Rally Ag...
- 06/19/13--15:12: News Wrap: Federal Reserve Paints Brighter Economic Picture
- 06/19/13--15:16: Obama Calls for Dramatic Decrease in Nuclear Weapons
- 06/19/13--15:26: Cicada Mania: The Entomologists' 'Super Bowl'
- 06/19/13--15:50: Abolitionist Frederick Douglass Honored With Statue in the Capitol
- 06/20/13--06:52: A Hormonal Happy Birthday
- 06/20/13--07:51: Unpromised Land: Eritrean Refugees in Israel
- 06/20/13--13:46: What Makes Us Happy?
- 06/20/13--15:03: Senators Near Key Compromise on Beefed-Up Border Security
- 06/20/13--15:13: News Wrap: U.S. House Fails to Pass Farm Bill
- 06/20/13--15:26: HPV Vaccine Dramatically Cuts Number of Infections in Teen Girls
- 06/20/13--15:33: Finding the Connection Between Prosperity, Compassion and Happiness
- 06/20/13--17:24: Gwen's Take: How the Supreme Court Might Change Your Life
- 06/21/13--08:12: Why Those Who Feel They Have Less Give More
- 06/21/13--09:10: Brazilians Rally Against Government
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Federal Reserve painted a brighter picture of the economy today. The Central Bank estimated unemployment will fall a little faster than expected this year and next. Chairman Ben Bernanke said that means the Fed may start scaling back its stimulus efforts later this year. He promised it will come in -- quote -- "measured steps" to reassure investors.
BEN BERNANKE, Federal Reserve Chairman: We are in a more complex type of situation, but we are determined to be as clear as we can, and we hope that you are and your listeners and the markets will all be able to follow what we're saying.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Bernanke's words did little to reassure Wall Street today. Stocks fell sharply on fears that if the Fed curtails its bond-buying program, interest rates will rise and growth will slow. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 206 points to close at 15,112. The Nasdaq fell nearly 39 points to close at 3,443.
The Internal Revenue Service is taking new fire, this time over plans to pay bonuses to employees. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said it comes to $70 million dollars, despite a White House directive to cancel such payments due to automatic spending cuts. The IRS said it's doing what it's legally required to do under a union contract.
The U.S. Naval Academy charged three male midshipmen today with raping a female classmate and making false statements about it. Officials have said the accused were football players. The incident allegedly happened at an off-campus party a year ago. The Naval Academy has been under pressure to act in the case amid reports of growing sexual abuse in the military.
President Obama today sought to ease European concerns about U.S. surveillance programs. He met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, and said the monitoring of phone calls and Internet data is -- quote -- "narrowly targeted."
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This is not a situation in which we are rifling through the ordinary e-mails of German citizens or American citizens or French citizens or anybody else. And all of it is done under the oversight of the courts. And, as a consequence, we have saved lives.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Merkel said it's necessary to find an equitable balance between security and civil liberties.
In Somalia, seven militants from the Islamist group Al-Shabab attacked the main U.N. compound in Mogadishu today. They detonated a car bomb at the building's front gate, then stormed the site with gunfire and explosives. At least 20 people were killed, including all seven of the militants.
The biggest protests to sweep Brazil in more than 20 years showed no sign of ending today. Overnight demonstrations led to looting and vandalism. Today, some 200 activists blocked a major highway in Sao Paulo. Meanwhile, in Fortaleza, police fired tear gas to disperse 15,000 protesters who cut off a main road to the soccer stadium ahead of a tournament game. The demonstrators are targeting corruption, poor services and high taxes, at a time when Brazil is spending billions to host next year's World Cup of soccer.
The number of refugees worldwide has reached an 18-year high. Data from the U.N. Refugee Agency today showed more than 45 million people were counted as refugees last year or displaced within their own countries. The civil war in Syria was a major factor, along with fighting in Afghanistan.
There's encouraging news on a vaccine against cervical cancer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported today that the HPV vaccine cuts infections among teenage girls by half. Officials said at the CDC -- officials at the CDC said it underscores the need to have more girls get the shots. Right now, only about half of teen girls in the U.S. have had at least one dose. Only a third have had all three doses.
Those are some of the day's major stories -- now back to Ray.
RAY SUAREZ: President Obama announced today the U.S. could reduce its stockpile of long-range nuclear weapons by a third and called upon Russia to make similar cuts.
Margaret Warner has the story.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We may no longer live in fear of global annihilation, but so long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe.
MARGARET WARNER: President Obama made his new appeal for further nuclear weapons cuts at the famed Brandenburg Gate, symbol of the city that was a flash point in the Cold War years of nuclear standoff.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Peace with justice means pursuing the security of a world without nuclear weapons, no matter how distant that dream might be. And so, as president, I have strengthened our efforts to stop the spread of nuclear weapons, and reduced the number and role of America's nuclear weapons. Because of the New START treaty, we're on track to cut American and Russian deployed nuclear warheads to their lowest levels since the 1950s.
MARGARET WARNER: In 2010, President Obama and then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed New START, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. The U.S. Senate ratified it later that year, and it took effect in early 2011.
The pact required each country to reduce its strategic or long-range nuclear stockpiles to 1,550 weapons from 6,000. Today, the president spelled out a new goal.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I have determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third. And I intend to seek negotiated cuts with Russia to move beyond Cold War nuclear postures.
MARGARET WARNER: Mr. Obama, who once laid out a vision for a nuclear-free world, said today he'd also pursue ways to reduce both countries' shorter-range battlefield nukes.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: At the same time, we will work with our NATO allies to seek bold reductions in U.S. and Russian tactical weapons in Europe, and we can forge a new international framework for peaceful nuclear power.
MARGARET WARNER: He and Russian President Vladimir Putin met privately this week at the G-8 summit in Northern Ireland in a tense session that focused largely on Syria. Aides said Mr. Obama briefed him on his arms cut proposal.
But Putin didn't mention it today. Instead, he again raised objections to a U.S. anti-missile system being deployed in Europe. But Russia's deputy prime minister said Moscow couldn't take the proposal for further cuts in nuclear arms seriously while the U.S. continues building a system to intercept those weapons.
And Putin's foreign policy adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said any negotiations on arms reductions would have to include other nuclear powers as well. The Federation of American Scientists estimates France, China and Britain have 200 to 300 nuclear weapons each, while Israel, India, and Pakistan have roughly 100 apiece.
The U.S. and other nations are pressing North Korea and Iran to halt their nuclear programs. The North Koreans have carried out three nuclear test explosions, but have not shown they can mount a warhead on a missile. Iran denies its nuclear program is meant to produce weapons.
And for reaction to Mr. Obama's calls for further nuclear arms reductions, we're joined by Eric Edelman, undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration. He's now at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. And Joseph Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a foundation that seeks to rid the world of nuclear weapons.
Welcome to you both.
Joe Cirincione, beginning with you, what is the case for and why is the president now calling for these further reductions, coming so soon after the really big, huge reductions of just a couple of years ago?
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE, President, Ploughshares Fund: Well, the reductions of a couple of years ago in the New START actually just tweaked the current U.S. arsenals.
You heard the president today, Margaret. He said, as long as nuclear weapons exist, we are not truly safe. He's echoing the vision of Ronald Reagan, who wanted to abolish nuclear weapons from the face of the earth, and John F. Kennedy, who said we must abolish the weapons of war before they abolish us.
What the president has done is restart his nuclear policy that actually has been pretty dead in the water for the last couple of years. He's saying that we have to get rid of these nuclear nightmares that still haunt us. One nuclear weapon can destroy a city. A hundred nuclear weapons could destroy human civilization. The United States has 7,000 nuclear weapons. Russia has 8,000 nuclear weapons.
We spend $50 billion to $60 billion dollars a year maintaining these arsenals. It's time to reduce these costs, to reduce these risks. The president took an important step to prevent new nations from getting these weapons, to prevent terrorists from getting these weapons, and to prevent the use of these nuclear weapons anywhere by design or miscalculation. I applaud him for his efforts.
MARGARET WARNER: Do you applaud him, Eric Edelman? And how significant are these cuts, if you still leave 1,000 long-range weapons, rather than 1,500 long-range weapons a side?
ERIC EDELMAN, Former State Department and Defense Department Official: Well, I don't applaud this.
I think the president has embarked on a dangerous and risky course. We're entering a very different and dangerous nuclear era. As in your introduction, you noted we have got nuclear weapons states emerging in Northeast Asia, in Southwest Asia, we still have requirements to deter, although we're not on hair-trigger alert anymore, Russian and to a lesser degree Chinese nuclear forces.
And that's why Gen. Chilton, who was the commander of Strategic Command when the New START treaty was ratified a few years ago, said he wouldn't be comfortable that our deterrence requirements could be met at numbers lower than those in the New START treaty.
The president said today that he wants to negotiate these preferably with Russia, but as a former diplomat, I don't know why you would declare your bottom line before going into a negotiation.
MARGARET WARNER: Joe Cirincione, are there dangers, is there a downside to going below some level, at a time when, as Eric Edelman says, you have a rising number of countries either nuclear or trying to go nuclear?
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Well, Margaret, it's hard to imagine any military mission today that requires us to use one nuclear weapon. We haven't in over 68 years.
But perhaps I'm wrong. Maybe you have some missions that would require 10. Maybe you need 500. We have 7,000. So it's hard to believe that you can't trim this force by the few hundred that the president is suggesting and somehow that would risk U.S. national security. Quite the opposite.
There is a broad bipartisan consensus in the American security establishment today that whatever benefits these weapons may have had during the Cold War, they are now a liability. They threaten us. They do not protect us. So the president took a very cautious step today. He's saying, let's go down to 1,000 deployed strategic forces. Let's take them off the hair-trigger alert.
I beg to differ, Eric. They are still ready to launch. We still have over 1,000 weapons ready to launch in 15 minutes or less. Why? Why? Why do we maintain this posture with all those risks? We see the morale problems we're having with the ICBM officers in the Air Force, who know they're in dead-end jobs, who know they're stuck in silos in Montana and Wyoming and North Dakota waiting to push a button that will never be pushed.
It's time to get rid of this Cold War arsenal and reorient our forces for the real threats of the 21st century, terrorism, the spread of these weapons to other countries. That's where we should concentrate our efforts.
MARGARET WARNER: Let me get Eric Edelman back in this.
Respond to that, but also let's jump ahead to Russia's reaction? What did you make of Russia's reaction from the deputy foreign minister and the adviser, one linking it to missile defense and one saying we're not going to talk about further cuts unless all these other countries are in it?
ERIC EDELMAN: Well, I think, first of all, the purpose of nuclear weapons is not to use them, of course, on the battlefield. It's to deter their use.
And one of the requirements we have is not just to deter an attack on the United States, but we have responsibilities to deter attack on our treaty allies in Asia and in Europe. And an arbitrary slashing of our nuclear force posture is very likely to trigger concerns among those allies about whether we're prepared to defend them with a nuclear umbrella anymore or not, and perhaps spark some to think about developing nuclear weapons programs of their own.
MARGARET WARNER: Even with 1,000 long-range and thousands of ...
ERIC EDELMAN: Even at 1,000.
And with regard to the Russian reaction, I think the Russians on the one hand have wanted to have treaty-binding legal limits on U.S. missile defenses and on advanced conventional long-range strike capability. What we didn't hear from the president today is what he is willing to give up in order to get an agreement from the Russians on that score.
But on the other hand, I think the Russians reacted quite sensibly to the proposal, saying that others have to be involved. When we had 6,000 warheads active in the force, the idea of China becoming a nuclear peer would have been a bit fanciful. But now, going down to 1,000, you make that a realistic possibility, I think the Russians understandably don't want to give China an incentive to build up.
MARGARET WARNER: We have just a minute left, so I want to get you both quickly on this point. The president kept using the words "talk about" or "negotiate," but he never talked about a treaty.
Do you think he's headed to doing what George H.W. Bush did on one agreement, Joe Cirincione, first to you, and that is try to negotiate something without a binding treaty that has to go to the Senate?
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Right. Right.
You can make agreements with other countries without actually having a treaty. George H.W. Bush got rid of 13,000 U.S. nuclear weapons unilaterally, just saying he was going to get rid of them. Gorbachev just matched this.
The president clearly indicated his preferences for negotiations, but any president would be foolish to give up the right to size the U.S. nuclear forces the way he sees fit. We cannot let Russia dictate what weapons we deploy or how much we spend. That's our prerogative, not theirs.
ERIC EDELMAN: I think there's going to be a lot of concern in the Congress and particularly the Senate about this, not for the least of the reasons being that the Russians, as the Strategic Force Posture Commission recognized, have been in violation of the unilateral undertakings they made with regard to the George H.W. Bush reductions that Joe just talked about.
MARGARET WARNER: But is there anything the Senate could do to prevent this, or the Congress?
ERIC EDELMAN: Well, the Congress -- in the current version of the National Defense Authorization Act passed by the House, there are requirements not to fund New START reductions until the administration has ratified -- or it suggested that the agreement be sent to them as a treaty.
MARGARET WARNER: That's right. We forget it costs money to actually build down.
Eric Edelman, thank you.
Thank you both.
JOSEPH CIRINCIONE: Thank you, Margaret.
ERIC EDELMAN: Thank you.
JEFFREY BROWN: And next: one of nature's fascinating and deafening spectacles.
Quiet, leafy neighborhoods suddenly sound more like airports and look like scenes from a bad horror movie.
NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien tells the tale.
MILES O'BRIEN: These boys likely do not know it, but they are playing with some bugs that are older than they are. The periodical cicada invasion will stop soon enough, but the once-every-17th-summer event is impossible to ignore.
TATIANA LOWE, Dealing With Cicadas: This is like a bit much. It's like every day you hear this racket, and then at night, it gets quiet, and then in the morning, you see all the dead ones everywhere. It's pretty gross.
MILES O'BRIEN: Of course, beauty is in the compound eyes of the beholder. And like them or not, with the emergence of one of the big East Coast broods, the cicadas are ready for their close-ups.
This is a scene from "Return of the Cicadas." For six years now, filmmaker Samuel Orr has been capturing cicadas in spectacular, close-up, time-lapse fashion as they emerge from the ground, climb, molt, reproduce, and then die.
Sam is, naturally, a big cicada fan.
SAMUEL ORR, Filmmaker: I find it amusing a bit that people are afraid of cicadas. It makes as much sense to be afraid of a cicada that -- than it does to be afraid of a butterfly. I find the nymphs that are coming out of the ground, the stage before they became adults with wings, I -- you know, not to sound silly or glib, but I -- at this point, I find them to be adorable.
MILES O'BRIEN: The cicada life cycle is unique in the insect world and just plain strange in any other.
We see them on the sunny side of the soil for just a few weeks as their adult lives begin and end amid the unmistakable chorus. But, for the remainder of their 17-year lifespan, they are underground in the dark, sucking on the roots of trees. And you thought your life was boring.
In the world of entomology, is there a better narrative than this?
MICHAEL RAUPP, University of Maryland: This is kind of our Super Bowl. This is -- this is a blockbuster for us. It's got birth. It's got death. It's got romance. It's got sex. It's got everything.
In a span of about four weeks, the whole thing is over.
MILES O'BRIEN: Entomologist Michael Raupp is the self-described bug man at the University of Maryland at College Park. We met at a graveyard in Northern Virginia that was alive and humming with cicadas.
MICHAEL RAUPP: That little lady's on her way up the treetop just now.
MILES O'BRIEN: She is part of periodical cicada Brood II, which emerges every 17 years from Georgia to Connecticut. It is one of 19 broods of periodical cicadas across the U.S. which crawl out of the soil every 17 or 13 years.
MICHAEL RAUPP: They will mate. Females will lay their eggs in the tips of the branches, and then the little tiny nymphs are going to tumble down from maybe 60 or 80 feet from the sky to branches, hit the ground, then burrow underneath for another 17 years.
MILES O'BRIEN: And so the circuitous cicada circle of life continues.
MICHAEL RAUPP: Is that a buy in my eye?
MILES O'BRIEN: The insects do not seem fearful of large creatures, do not bite or sting. Their main defense mechanism? Sheer numbers. Scientists call the cicada strategy for survival of the species predator satiation.
MICHAEL RAUPP: It's to simply emerge in such massive numbers simultaneously that you fill the gullet of every predator that wants to eat you in a given location, but there are still enough left to carry on for the species.
MILES O'BRIEN: For their predators, the cicadas offer an all-you-can-eat buffet of epic proportions. Scientists have estimated as many as a million-and-a-half individuals in a single acre.
JOHN COOLEY, University of Connecticut: Watch how he stops and listens. This one turned toward the sound. They're going to both turn.
MILES O'BRIEN: John Cooley is a researcher at the University of Connecticut. And when the weather warms, he too, makes his own emergence to observe, map and commune with the creatures.
JOHN COOLEY: And you see, he's my friend for life now. He's interested. It is as if a female is around here somewhere.
MILES O'BRIEN: I guess you could call him a cicada whisperer. Cooley is trying to make a map of the Brood II emergence.
It's the first time this brood has come up for air in the era of social networking and crowdsourcing, so he has drummed up his own human wave: thousands of citizen scientists who are charting the cicadas, hoping an accurate map will emerge.
JOHN COOLEY: So, the mapping project is an attempt to go out with GPS units and make records saying, on this date, at this time, under these conditions, I saw this many cicadas, so that, in the future, we can see if that has changed, and then we can also look at the broods and have a very good idea of where they actually are.
MILES O'BRIEN: David Rothenberg is also very interested in where the cicadas are. A musician who gets his inspiration from the natural world, we caught up with him in New Paltz, N.Y., hunting for, well, I guess you could call them backup singers.
DAVID ROTHENBERG, New Jersey Institute of Technology: Today, I am seeking the best sound, seeking the best sound of singing 17-year cicadas to make some music with them, to collect some for a show we're playing tonight. We're going to have live cicadas performing with us.
MILES O'BRIEN: Rothenberg knows what he is looking for and listening to.
DAVID ROTHENBERG: What you're hearing at first just sounds like noise, like white noise. It's just noise, until you start to listen and you realize that, oh, what's that? You're hearing a wash of noise that synchronizes. It comes up and then down.
And that's Magicicada cassini. It's the smaller of the three species that comes out when the periodic cicadas come out, but it's the loudest. The second sound is like a tone. And that's Magicicada septendecim. And those individuals are making this sound are going, "pharaoh, pharaoh."
And then there's a third species called Magicicada septendecula that's going ...
MILES O'BRIEN: Rothenberg has created and performed music with birds, whales and now bugs.
DAVID ROTHENBERG: Some people think it's the most absurd of these projects, but others think it's the most obvious, because this is just such a musical sound. And a human can find a way into it even with a sound that's ostensibly totally different. Let's just see what happens.
MILES O'BRIEN: Can you think of another insect that would prompt a quirky scene like this?
Cicada mania is real. Sam Orr ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund a feature-length film on cicadas. He asked for $3,000 dollars and within a few weeks had more than 20 grand in pledges. Why all the buzz?
SAMUEL ORR: It's not often, at least it seems to me, that it feels like you can make eye contact with an insect.
MILES O'BRIEN: Back at the cemetery, with bug man Mike Raupp, I tested another theory on why periodical cicadas seem to resonate so roundly with humans.
It's a benchmark that nature offers us, a 17-year benchmark, and you can't help but think of your own mortality, can't you?
MICHAEL RAUPP: You're absolutely right. I mark my career by the emergence of the next cicada. I have had the good fortune to witness several of these, but I know, fundamentally, that I have only got a couple of these broods left.
MILES O'BRIEN: So, here's to seeing the next one, and on the sunny side of the cicadas, if you please.
JEFFREY BROWN: Online, more music, David Rothenberg playing his clarinet, with cicadas as his backup singers. That's on our Science page.
RAY SUAREZ: We turn now to politics and the ongoing debate over a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented people.
The Senate today continued work on a sweeping bill to overhaul the nation's immigration system, moving toward a final vote before July 4.
We have another of our one-on-one discussions with lawmakers.
Last night, I spoke with Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky for his views of the legislation. He told us he would like to see more conservatives have a hand in shaping the measure, but he does favor a pathway to eventual legal residence and citizenship.
Tonight, Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia. I spoke with him a short time ago.
Sen. Kaine, welcome.
As debate continues over the gang of eight's draft proposal and lots of amendments are being proposed, are there some bottom lines that you have going into this process, some things that you feel must be in a reform bill for you to vote for it?
SEN. TIM KAINE, D-Va.: Well, Ray, I think the bill does a very good job of balancing a lot of bottom lines: visa reform, path to citizenship, border security, family reunification, the status of a lot of Central Americans who are here under a TPS, temporary protective status.
But the thing that I think is most important is that, as we look at certain things like border security -- and I'm open to amendments -- we shouldn't use those to delay the path to citizenship. That's the thing that I'm very concerned about as we focus on the amendments that are being offered on the floor even as we speak.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, what's wrong with having it phased in, that path to citizenship?
Last night, Sen. Paul was on the program, and he said, "I would allow people who are here on work visas to also simultaneously stand in the same line that a person in Mexico City is in right now."
In other words, give them legal work visas to remain in the country while they pursue their goals of legal residence and citizenship on the same track as people who are doing it from outside the country.
TIM KAINE: Ray, because some of the proposals I have seen about phasing, for example, involve repeated returns to Congress to ask Congress to specify, OK, enough has now been done on border security. And I view that as a potential, just a delaying technique.
It's hard to get stuff done in Congress. I think, instead, what we should do is make the commitments on the border security steps that we will take. We already spend $18 billion dollars a year on border security and the -- and we have had great success in recent years in reducing the number of illegal border crossings.
This bill authorizes up to an additional $6.5 billion dollars a year for border security, along with other steps. And I think let's go ahead and take those steps and take them now, but not make the citizenship path dependent upon future votes in Congress, as we know how filibuster and other rules can have a way of delaying action.
I think the moment is now for decision, and the bill represents a very good balance of the various interests.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, how should we handle oversight of border security? By many metrics, the border is a tighter, better-policed area than it had been in the past, but it's a kind of subjective thing whether the border is absolutely safe and sound.
TIM KAINE: Yes, I mean, it is tough. So you can look at numbers of arrests.
And if you're doing more arrests, does it tell you that you're doing a better job or does it tell you that more people are trying to cross? There are some challenges. But I do think the pros who do this, the combination strategies of prosecution and new security techniques, along especially the commitment to greater investments -- I'm not the border security professional myself, so the way that those additional dollars are best used to help secure the border, I want to leave that to key officials in the relevant agencies and have them come report to Congress how they're using the moneys.
But if we provide them those resources, given the track that we have already seen where we're reducing illegal border crossings, I think this bill gives them the tools they need to take that even further.
RAY SUAREZ: One thing Sen. Paul last night and many other Republicans in both chambers have talked about, when it comes to the future of immigration enforcement, is how to deal with the people who are here already.
TIM KAINE: Right.
RAY SUAREZ: And, as Sen. Paul said last night, they shouldn't be given a privilege for breaking the law.
How do you respond to that?
TIM KAINE: Well, I agree.
And so, if this was a proposal that was just an amnesty proposal, I wouldn't be in favor of it. But instead people who are here without documents who have broken the laws, they have to undergo a pretty rigorous 13-year path, with a whole series of requirements, from learning English, to having criminal background checks, to making sure that they're paying taxes, to paying an additional fine because they have violated the law.
And I think that that list of consequences is as stiff as we have had in any piece of legislation before the Senate. It's a longer path to citizenship than was in the bill that was considered and ultimately not adopted by the Senate in 2007.
So, I think the -- I think it's a fair point that someone who is here without documents shouldn't be able to do that without consequence, but I think we have built consequences into this bill that are significant.
RAY SUAREZ: Your leader, Sen. Harry Reid, is pushing for a vote in the Senate by the Fourth of July, while in the House the majority backs a security-only bill.
Is there enough common ground for the two chambers to even talk to each other, to begin a conversation that ends with comprehensive reform of some kind in 2013?
TIM KAINE: Well, Ray, that's a -- that may be the big question.
My sense is this. And even hearing all that's being said in the House, if we are able to pass legislation in the Senate with a significant vote margin -- I hope that we're going to get over 60, and, gosh, I would love it if we could get near 70 votes -- if we can have a significant margin for comprehensive reform, then we send that bill to the House with a very strong message: This is not a Republican bill. It's not a Democratic bill. It's a bipartisan bill and an American bill.
And I think if we send that comprehensive package to the House with a strong vote margin, I think that will send a message and I think it will affect how the House acts and will create that space for common ground for comprehensive reform this year.
RAY SUAREZ: This week's CBO scoring that demonstrates some potential economic benefits for reform, does that strengthen your hand?
TIM KAINE: It does. It's been -- it was interesting, Ray.
Most people wouldn't understand this, but everybody waits around on the CBO scores because no one knows what they're going to say. They are truly independent and, quite frankly, often very unpredictable. When that score came out yesterday suggesting that over the course of two decades, there would be potential savings of up to a trillion dollars, $200 billion-plus dollars in the first decade and then over $700 billion dollars in the second, that added a significant bit of data to the proponents and supporters of reform.
But it was in accord with what we were feeling. Throughout our history, waves of immigration of talented and dedicated people have been a great spur to the American economy. Just look at the CEOs of major technology companies that have been started in the company -- in the country in the last 30, 40 years, and you see that immigrant spirit is still very much alive in helping grow the American economy.
RAY SUAREZ: Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, thanks for being with us.
TIM KAINE: You bet, Ray.
RAY SUAREZ: My interview with Sen. Rand Paul is on our Immigration page. You can also watch my series of conversations explaining what's inside the immigration legislation and review our in-depth coverage of the issue.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now: languages, history, philosophy and more, a call for new commitments to the humanities in higher education.
A report to that effect was issued today by a congressionally-mandated panel of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. It comes at a time when much focus has been on the need for the U.S. to nurture more graduates who specialize in science, technology, math, and engineering. It also comes amid lower funding for research in the humanities and a drop in interest in civics courses.
Two members of the panel join us now, co-chair Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, and actor and writer John Lithgow.
Thank you and welcome to both of you.
JOHN LITHGOW, Actor: Nice to be here.
RICHARD BRODHEAD, President, Duke University: My pleasure.
JEFFREY BROWN: Richard Brodhead, is there a critique here, implicit or not, at least, that we as a country have gone too far in the direction of the so-called STEM?
RICHARD BRODHEAD: I don't think it's so much that we have gone too far, because many could argue we still haven't gone far enough. The performance of students in our school systems in STEM subjects is not yet the wonder of the world.
It's that, by focusing on one part of the problem, we have forgotten that actually the problem requires a balanced solution. We have great scientists. We have -- the National Academy of Engineering is on our commission. The person who authored the report that the whole concept of STEM came out of, Norm Augustine, was on our commission.
And they say it was never their view that STEM alone made for an educated person, let alone even an educated scientist.
JEFFREY BROWN: One thing I want to -- how do you define or measure the problem? Do you put in the personal terms for you?
JOHN LITHGOW: Well, very much so in my case.
I studied humanities all the way through college. At a certain point, I made a misstep and became an actor, although I was never cut out to be an academic. But I have always felt that studying the humanities and the arts at the college level just put me into the habit of learning that's really defined my life in all sorts of ways.
And it's extremely difficult to quantify exactly what the humanities does for you.
JEFFREY BROWN: That's one of the problems here, right?
JOHN LITHGOW: It's certainly problem. And it tends to be neglected.
The study of humanities is not being attacked. It's not a terrible political football, which is always a great danger, because people have different belief systems. But it is being simply neglected. There is an imbalance. And my feeling has always been that these two sides of the brain have to work together.
JEFFREY BROWN: But I have the experience -- and I know you do everyday, and I will bet you do, too -- of talking to college students at campus.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: That's right.
JEFFREY BROWN: And you're -- and I also happen to be a parent myself, so I know ...
RICHARD BRODHEAD: I'm one, too.
JEFFREY BROWN: ... the huge costs of college ...
RICHARD BRODHEAD: That's right.
JEFFREY BROWN: ... the dim job prospects in this economy, which we report on all the time.
How do you look parents and teachers in the eye and say, you must have someplace for the humanities as well, while there's a focus on jobs, practical matters?
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Well, I actually think the burden really falls on educators to educate people about the meaning and value of education.
I'm not sure we have done a good enough job making that case as well as we could.
JEFFREY BROWN: You're blaming yourself and others in the ...
RICHARD BRODHEAD: I think educators to some extent play a role in it.
We need to remind the world that what makes a person successful are not the things that get you a job the day you graduate. I know almost no one at 40 or 50 who is doing the thing they did the day after they got out of college.
And when people end up being able to lead successful and creative lives, it is typically because they had a very broad range of skills that they were able to use in versatile and opportunistic ways as life unfolded. So you shouldn't prepare yourself too narrowly. You think you're being prudent, but it's like penny-wise and pound-foolish. Better to develop more parts of yourself, more different skills and abilities, to be prepared for the chances of life.
JEFFREY BROWN: But that's still a hard case to make for many people.
JOHN LITHGOW: Yes, especially in a time of economic hardship.
JEFFREY BROWN: Huge debt that people come out of college with.
JOHN LITHGOW: Yes. Yes.
All of these things are addressed, incidentally, in the report itself. Sort of super-pragmatism kicks in, and you -- it's easy to lose track of the value of this. And by the same token, people who do study humanities, they need a balanced education, too.
JEFFREY BROWN: When -- you use the word invest a number of times in this report.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: That's right.
JEFFREY BROWN: But invest what? Because you don't put -- I don't think you put dollar amounts on all this. Invest time? Invest money, fiscal ...
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Care.
JEFFREY BROWN: Care.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Love. Love. I think love is a good investment.
JEFFREY BROWN: Yes. Why not pull dollar amounts on it?
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Oh, there will need to be dollars to accomplish some of what we talk about.
But, first of all, work in the humanities is much more inexpensive than work in many other disciplines, especially scientific research. And, second of all, I don't think money is the first thing we need. The first thing we need is for people who know and care about the value of literacy, the value of understanding foreign countries, the value of leading the kind of rich spiritual life you can get through the acquaintance with philosophy and literature and things of that sort, we need people to remind the public of the value of those things.
I don't find this a hard case to make when you speak to people. They just -- there -- it's been a while since anybody has tried to wake people up to how much they already do know and care about these things.
JEFFREY BROWN: But when you try to make it concrete -- you're coming to this process from the outside. Is there a specific example that you have found from your talks or that came up in the report that you would say, here's something we could do specifically to help this?
JOHN LITHGOW: Well, Karl Eikenberry is a member of our commission, former ambassador of Afghanistan.
JEFFREY BROWN: And general.
JOHN LITHGOW: And one of the final segments of the report is all about this global world we live in and how essential it is for us to have a good sense of other cultures, foreign languages. The study of foreign languages has diminished in importance.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: That's right.
JOHN LITHGOW: People simply making the assumption, well, English is a more -- is the common denominator language of the world, so why bother? This is very wrong headed.
This is very wrong-headed.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Our group has been amazing. We all do different things for a living, and we have all taught each other how we understand this issue and we have all learned from each other how they see it.
But the day Karl Eikenberry looked at us and said, if you have been a general, you know that weapons are the least effective weapon in your security arsenal. If you don't know anything about cultures, if you don't know anything about histories, foreign languages, you're going to find yourself in places where all the weapons in the world can't solve the problems you went there to solve. And that just seems to me a plea for the humanities.
JEFFREY BROWN: What's your final takeaway from this process, having been part of it?
JOHN LITHGOW: Well, it's been fascinating for me.
I'm certainly not an academic. I'm a member of a small contingent of this 50-plus commission who are in the performing arts, Yo-Yo Ma, Emmylou Harris, George Lucas, who's done stuff for us. It's -- I sort of contribute my own experience from the creative side and how my own history of the humanities -- I mean, I'm one of those odd actors who studied the humanities straight through before making the decision to become an actor, but how completely it's just sort of informed the rest of my life.
Acting is a very curious profession. But there are an awful lot of people on the commission who are not humanists, but who were when they went to school.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: All right.
It's a point I make to parents, which is, I can rattle off a list of people who were English majors you didn't know were English majors, Mitt Romney, Hank Paulson. The world is full of people whose original training was not in what they go on to do later on.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, you know what? We are going to continue that part of the discussion online about your own personal experiences.
JOHN LITHGOW: Great.
But, for now, Richard Brodhead and John Lithgow, thank you very much.
JOHN LITHGOW: Great to be here, Jeff.
RICHARD BRODHEAD: Thanks.
JEFFREY BROWN: And, also online, you can weigh in. Has a humanities education been useful in your life? Tell us on our NewsHour Facebook page.
At the U.S. Capitol's Emancipation Hall, lawmakers honored the legacy and spirit of Frederick Douglass -- freed slave, abolitionist and human rights advocate -- with a new statue in his likeness. Ray Suarez offers excerpts from the ceremony.
The U.S.-Mexico border wall in Nogales, Arizona. Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images
The prospects for a decisive vote in favor of a Senate plan to overhaul the nation's immigration system appeared to brighten in the past 24 hours with word that two Republican senators have closed in on an agreement with the Gang of Eight on a proposal to bolster the border security elements of the package.
The deal, negotiated by Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota, could provide the legislation the boost it needs to win 70 or more votes on final passage, which would increase pressure on House Republicans to take up the measure.
Politico's Burgess Everett, Manu Raju and Carrie Budoff Brown report Corker and Hoeven have started to sell the compromise to fellow Republicans and that the reception has been "good." They write:
The emerging deal would soften Republican requests for a strict requirement that 90 percent of illegal border crossers be apprehended to hit a "trigger" toward a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, but would provide an unprecedented increase in border security funding and officers and a guarantee on finishing the fence along the Southern border, sources said.
Ashley Parker of the New York Times notes that Corker and Hoeven worked with Democrats to address concerns about linking a pathway to citizenship with the 90 percent border security trigger:
According to aides with knowledge of the discussions, the Republicans agreed to make the 90 percent figure a goal rather than a requirement, in exchange for a detailed border security plan that lays out serious assurances of both manpower and resources at the southern border.
"Unprecedented deployment of boots on the ground and commitment to the fence," explained an aide close to the talks, speaking anonymously to talk candidly about continuing private discussions.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican member of the Gang of Eight, said Wednesday in an interview with Fox News that the new border security provision could be ready as early as Thursday.
"What I can tell you is that I have Republican colleagues here in the Senate that have been working very hard based on the public input that people are getting," Rubio said. "I know they're still finalizing that and I'll leave it to them to announce it because they've worked so hard on it. But let me just say that what I think you can expect to see tomorrow is a substantial improvement -- a substantial improvement -- in the border security parts of this bill."
In a signal of the delicate political balance Rubio is attempting to strike, and a difficult pathway for the bill in the House, consider a tea party rally near the Capitol Wednesday organized by conservative GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa. Reporters covering the event found angry activists using words like "RINO" and "traitor" to describe the Florida senator.
ABC News reported that rally attendees "loudly booed Rubio's name when it was mentioned by several speakers, including Robert Rector, the co-author of a controversial Heritage Foundation report on the cost of the Senate bill. Rector accused the senator of not reading 'his own bill.'"
And former Florida Rep. Allen West, a hero among tea party voters, said Wednesday he won't rule out a primary challenge against Rubio in 2016.
While the issue of border security will likely continue to be the main focus of the debate going forward, Politico highlights the fact that many lawmakers also have parochial concerns they want addressed in the legislation.
The NewsHour is holding one-on-one discussions with lawmakers about how they'd like to see the measure shaped.
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., told Ray Suarez Wednesday night that the border security amendments that have been defeated on the Senate floor over the last week are "just a delaying technique. "It's hard to get stuff done in Congress," he said.
He also hailed the Congressional Budget Office score we wrote about Wednesday showing the bill would cut the deficit. CBO reports "are truly independent and, quite frankly, often very unpredictable," Kaine said. "[T]hat added a significant bit of data to the proponents and supporters of reform."
Watch here or below:Watch Video
President Barack Obama "is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants ... the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries," the New York Times' John Broder reports.
The Republican-controlled House Wednesday night rejected a Democratic effort to restore $20.5 billion in cuts to the food stamp program. On Thursday the farm bill is expected to win final passage. And the Washington Post fact-checked lawmakers who say they are living on a food stamp budget.
Roll Call's Meredith Shiner follows up on her Wednesday scoop, writing this time that, "The fight over a toxic chemical bill announced two weeks before Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg's death has gotten deeply personal, with Lautenberg's widow making calls to Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, to advocate for the legislation."
Alaska GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski announced her support for same-sex marriage.
In a speech supporting the Defense of Marriage Act, Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., suggested that young children should be taught traditional gender roles in school.
The New York Times profiles the evolution of Ken Mehlman from manager of George Bush's 2004 campaign and chair of the RNC to same-sex marriage advocate -- a pathway he credits former Bush solicitor general Theodore B. Olson for helping him chart.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer talked with Roll Call's Kyle Trygstad about the possibility he'll launch a 2014 Senate bid, and had some nasty things to say about Washington. "Most of the people you talk to are frauds," and Georgetown "sucks," Schweitzer said. And Trygstad reports the former governor hasn't talked with Sen. Jon Tester since before Election Day.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he has learned "that the IRS is preparing to negotiate an agreement with its union" to give employees up to $70 million in bonuses, Politico reports.
Reid Wilson rounds up the strategists and staffers Republicans are picking up for a 2016 invisible primary.
On the Washington Post front page, Karen Tumulty raises the question of whether Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is going mainstream.
And is there a hidden message in this picture of Paul?
The endorsement you've been waiting for. The Wu-Tang Klan's Ghostface Killah picks New Jersey Democrat Roy Cho.
Perry Bacon writes for The Grio that Washington's "affirmative action" in politics isn't likely to change.
The Supreme Court is scheduled Thursday to release decisions. There are more than a dozen pending cases, including these big ones: affirmative action in higher education, the Voting Rights Act section 5, and California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which both involve same-sex marriage.
Thirteen years later seems like a good time to recap the graduation advice on inspiration from Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson.
It's true. You've heard "You're going to like the way you look, I guarantee it," for the very last time.
RIP, James Gandolfini. As this Los Angeles Times obit reminds us, you were so much more than Tony Soprano.
Foreign Affairs Reporter-Producer PJ Tobia wrote this incredible story about 60,000 Eritrean refugees, now Israel's unwanted.
Not for the squeamish: Miles O'Brien delivers a detailed report on cicadas. Watch:Watch Video Jeff Brown interviewed actor John Lithgow and Richard Brodhead, co-chair of the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences about a new report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences panel warns that the U.S. could lose its competitive edge in the liberal arts and social sciences. Watch here or below. Watch Video
Lawmakers unveiled a statue honoring abolitionist Frederick Douglass at the Capitol.
Don't miss Gwen Ifill's Reddit AMA.
The Fed announced a 7 percent unemployment threshold for easing up on federal bond purchases Wednesday. But not to worry; on our Making Sen$e page, Charles Morris predicts energy and heavy manufacturing will fuel an economic boom not seen in 50 years.
gandolfini's best line was in zero dark 30: "we're all smart, jeremy." -perfectly captured the impossible existential choices leaders face.— Steven Ginsberg (@stevenjay) June 20, 2013
Trampoline boom in the DC area! http://t.co/1MbnWNc7l9— Michael Neibauer (@WashBizNeibs) June 19, 2013
Many thanks to all Twitter friends wishing me well on my new assignment in London. It's a dream job and I promise I will do my best for you.— Terry Moran (@TerryMoran) June 19, 2013
Simone Pathe contributed to this report.
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The word "hormone" made its scientific debut 108 years ago today. Photo by Alija/Getty Images
The word hormone has long been a familiar part of the English vernacular. It can refer to a wide variety of things from the life-saving medications, such as insulin and epinephrine, to the biological and psychological maelstrom of adolescence.
The study of internal secretions, or what we now call endocrinology (a word coined in 1904, by Maurice-Adolphe Limon, from the Greek roots for the study of within) was one of the major intellectual avenues of medical science during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. But the actual word, hormone, did not make its scientific debut until the great British physiologist Ernest H. Starling slipped it into his prestigious Croonian lecture, delivered to the Royal Society of Physicians in London, 108 years ago on June 20, 1905.
British physiologist Ernest Henry Starling (1866-1927). Photo by Time Life Pictures.
The hormone was probably first posed sometime earlier when the distinguished biochemist Joseph Needham invited Starling to dine with him at the high table of Caius College, Cambridge. The topic of the evening was Starling's 1902 discovery of secretin, a protein that is considered by many to be the first isolated hormone.
Secretin is synthesized by the inner lining of the duodenum, a portion of the small intestines, and stimulates the pancreas to release a watery load of bicarbonate. This process of alkalization neutralizes the highly acidic stomach contents and facilitates the small intestine's digestion of food. Upon hearing about this incredible chemical messenger, the classicist W.T. Vesey suggested calling it and kindred agents "hormones," from the Greek root for "to set in motion, to excite, or arouse."
Tall, impeccably dressed and quiet in tone, Professor Starling began his formal address to the British Empire's best medical minds with a boldly accurate declaration:
From the remotest ages, the existence of a profession of medicine, the practice of its art and its acceptance as a necessary part of every community have been founded on a tacit assumption that the function of the body, whether of growth or activity of the organs, can be controlled by chemical means; and research by observation or accident or by experiment for such means has resulted in the huge array of drugs which from the pharmacopeias of various civilized countries and the common armamentarium of the medical profession throughout the world.
Starling went on to define hormones as "chemical messengers," which are "carried from the organ where they are produced to the organ which they affect by means of the blood stream and the continually recurring physiological needs of the organism must determine their repeated production and circulation from the body."
The first of four articles transcribing his momentous medical announcements about secretin and hormones appeared in print in the venerable Lancet on Aug. 5, 1905.
Ivan Pavlov watching an experiment with a dog. Photo by Sovfoto/UIG.
Interestingly, Starling's assertion contradicted the opinion of the leading and most powerful physiologist of the day, Ivan Pavlov. Conducting an enormous laboratory staffed by dozens of eager students and assistants, Pavlov developed a theory called nervism, which ascribed the control of the body's chemical messengers to the central nervous system. It was a view that many physiologists subscribed to and one that Pavlov believed was inviolable.
Starling and his brother-in-law, William M. Bayliss, repeatedly tried to reproduce Pavlov's experimental findings that neural reflexes controlled the acid-base content of food as it passed from the stomach to the duodenum but they could not.
Although Starling and Bayless acknowledged that neural reflexes might play a role in the digestive process, their experiments led them to isolate and identify secretin. It was a discovery that spawned a revolution of biomedical thought and, as Starling boasted in his 1905 Croonian lecture, successful treatments for a long list of endocrine diseases.
Back in St. Petersburg, Pavlov ordered several of his acolytes to replicate Bayless and Starling's experiments. Secretin's importance -- and Starling's correctness -- soon became obvious. Retreating to his study for an hour or more, the great Pavlov emerged to tell his students and colleagues, "Of course, they are right. It is clear that we did not take out an exclusive patent for the discovery of the truth."
Do you have a question for Dr. Markel about how a particular aspect of modern medicine came to be? Send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The journey is harrowing; the threat of kidnap and torture at the hands of Bedouins is ever present. But every year, thousands of Eritrean refugees travel hundreds of miles over land, some on foot -- across northern Africa, through the Sinai Peninsula -- seeking safety and opportunity. Some end up in Israel.
Does being wealthy make us happier? Up to a point. Paul Solman visits the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley, to explore the relationship between money and behavior, and gets some insight into his own state of mind. An excerpted transcript of Paul's interview with Berkeley sociologist Christine Carter, which airs on PBS NewsHour Thursday, follows. Carter is a happiness expert and director of the Greater Good Parents program at the Center.
Paul Solman: What have we learned about the relationship between wealth and happiness?
Christine Carter: We've learned a lot about whether or not money can buy happiness. And in fact, I think it's much more accurate to say money does buy happiness in certain ways. It's not that money buys stuff and that stuff will make us happy. It's that money buys an entire ecology of happiness, especially for children. If we think about what's most important for children and their overall wellbeing in life, it's things like having a strong attachment to your parent; confidence and optimism about your future; strong social ties to other people; physical health.
In this country, it tends to be the upper income families that have health insurance and that's pretty important for kids. Also, if you come from a more affluent family, you're more likely to have a parent who doesn't work full-time and so you have more time with your parent. Or you might be able to belong to a swim and tennis club where you hang out with lots of other families and get to know them, and they know you, and you feel a part of something. So, we don't necessarily think, "Oh, a swim and tennis club is going to bring great meaning to my child's life." But in fact, anything that is going to bring that social context where they feel like they have lots of friends and are a part of something larger than themselves is a plus.
Paul Solman: How strong then is the correlation between wealth and happiness? I thought it tailed off after a certain point.
Christine Carter: Generally for adults the relationship between wealth and happiness is not strictly linear in the sense that it's not the more money you have, the happier you are. Once you get to a certain point and you have your basic needs met, it takes more and more money to increase your happiness. With kids, the point at where it starts to level off or take more money to increase happiness is much higher than it is for adults because, if you think about it, affluence in your family brings a good school, and a safe neighborhood, and sidewalks, and all of these things that are actually quite expensive and tend to probably matter more to children than they do to adults. An adult can survive unscathed for a year without health insurance if they're lucky. A kid who misses all of their immunizations -- it can have a much more profound effect on the trajectory of their life and their happiness that year, or the next year.
Paul Solman: How are we doing in the U.S.?
Christine Carter: The U.S. is an interesting case. Usually what we see across countries is that as GDP goes up, happiness or subjective well-being tends to go up. The U.S. is kind of a notable case in the sense that in the last 35 years, as GDP has grown, we actually haven't seen our average happiness level go up.
Paul Solman: But of course, in the last 30 years or so, in this country, even if there were a correlation between wealth and happiness, most people wouldn't be much happier because most people haven't become wealthier.
Christine Carter: Most people haven't. The rich have gotten much richer and most everybody else has seen their relative wealth drop, and so we aren't seeing an increase in average happiness.
Paul Solman: How are kids in the U.S. doing?
Christine Carter: Kids in the U.S. tend to rank lower relative to other countries in their overall emotional well-being. It's disappointingly low. If we really are concerned about their emotional well-being and their happiness, we would do much better for our children to improve that ecology that they are growing up in -- to improve the schools, to improve their health care, to increase the odds that they'll have time with their parents, that they'll have high quality childcare. These things are incredibly important for kids' emotional well-being and, relative to other developed nations, really not well developed here in the U.S.
Paul Solman: What about the corrosive effects of wealth?
Christine Carter: There are some interesting studies that show that given the choice, people would prefer to make $50,000 if everybody else around them made $25,000, rather than make $100,000 if everybody else around them made $200,000. So, we do have this real impulse to just want to have more than the other guy, right?
There is a little bit of what we think of as a treadmill effect or keeping up with the Jones's: the wealthier you are, the more money you spend on stuff that increases your sense of what you need in life. And that can be a little bit of an addictive cycle that does not bring happiness. It brings feelings of entitlement, feelings of disappointment when you don't have as much. It sort of raises the water level on what you think you need, and then you're expending all this energy towards trying to get it.
So, people who are materialistic in that way tend to be less likeable, less empathetic towards other people. They're less likely to contribute to their communities; they're less likely to display an act of kindness. All of these things are really important because likability and kindness, and empathy, these are things that make you happy. They connect you to other people and that's the most important thing. So, money can be very corrosive in the sense that it can serve to sort of disconnect you from other people, ironically. But that is not necessarily something that is actually that hard to override if we just bring some awareness to it.
Paul Solman: And what about the corrosive effects of wealth on kids?
Christine Carter: What we see in the research is that affluent teenagers will report that they don't have adequate challenge in their lives and that that sense of not being adequately challenged does impact their overall wellbeing.
It's natural as a parent to want to make things a little easier for our kids, but unfortunately, when we do that we hinder them. We teach them that they must not be able to handle challenge or difficulty because we've removed it, right? And life is full of challenge and difficulty so kids need to learn how to handle it. We need struggle in order to grow. "Snow plow" parents who remove every obstacle from their kids' paths mean very well, but the unintended consequence is that they raise fragile, brittle kids who don't deal well with their own mistakes, with life's normal challenges, and heaven help them if they actually feel pain.
Paul Solman: How does one cultivate the ability to be happy?
Christine Carter: I think the first step is realizing that you can cultivate the ability to be happy. You know, for eons we've thought of happiness as a personality trait, and it's actually much more appropriate to think of it as a skill or a set of skills that we can teach ourselves and teach our children, that we can practice with them.
We know beyond a shadow of a doubt the types of things that actually are likely to make you happier over the long term. Gratitude is highly likely to increase your happiness no matter where you begin. So, you could already start off pretty happy or you could be kind of a grouchy, cynical person. A conscious gratitude practice that actually does authentically elicit what you appreciate in life is usually going to make you measurably happier.
Paul Solman: So, this is like writing down three things you're thankful for or praying: "Thank you Lord for..."
Christine Carter: Yeah, there's definitely not one size that fits all with gratitude. So, some people can journal at the end of the day. For me and my family, we take 20 seconds at dinnertime and go around the table and say what we feel grateful for.
Paul Solman: That's saying grace, isn't it?
Christine Carter: Yeah, I think in a lot of religious traditions there are lots of ways to express gratitude. Grace is one. Bedtime prayers are another. In my household, my kids don't necessarily say prayers, but they tell me three good things at the end of the day about their day[s] or about their lives, which actually works really well in our modern family because I might be traveling for work, and I'll get a text from my 12-year-old with her three good things from the day. It helps her go to sleep and it's also a habit of gratitude that she's gotten into.
It's an interesting thing to look at the habits you have in your life. We all have hundreds of little habits that kind of run our life on autopilot. Some of them are going to invoke happiness or other positive emotions and others are going to invoke negative emotions. So it's really important to bake into our day little routines and habits that are going to elicit positive emotions like gratitude, or appreciation or awe.
Paul Solman: What are the happiness habits that we should develop?
Christine Carter: Exercise is obviously a really positive happiness habit. Connecting to other people is really important. If we've learned anything in the last hundred years of research on happiness it's that a person's happiness is best predicted by the strength of their ties to other people, both the breadth and the depth of those ties.
So, simply by practicing gratitude or practicing forgiveness, we can cultivate greater happiness in our lives. Little acts of kindness, thinking of other people before ourselves tends to make us markedly happier in life. This is much more fulfilling than a new car, a new pair of skinny jeans, longer eyelashes -- the things that our culture is constantly telling us will make us happier.
Paul Solman: And what are the bad habits we should avoid?
Christine Carter: Materialism and consumption can become bad habits for people. Nagging is a terrible habit that is going to affect your overall happiness. Entitlement is a terrible habit of thinking; if you feel entitled to something you're going to be much more likely to feel disappointed when you don't get what you want than grateful when you do. Paul Solman: A friend of mine says, "Happiness in life is managing your expectations."
Christine Carter: I think happiness in life is not necessarily about having low expectations; it's about having expectations you feel good about but that are also realistic. So, if you expect something that you can't get, you're setting yourself up to feel quite disappointed.
Paul Solman: So, what would you advise me to do today to make myself happier?
Christine Carter: I would advise you to do three things. One, take a moment to reflect on what you appreciate about your life today. Try and think of something that you haven't thought of in the past that isn't novel that you're grateful for today. The second thing I would encourage you to do is to slow down a little bit and focus on one thing at a time. Really allow yourself to be mindful in each of your activities. Be really present instead of thinking about your next appointment while you're in your current one. Slow down, focus on your breath a little bit and enjoy this moment. And the third piece of advice I'd give you about being happy today is to try and connect with as many people as you can.
Paul Solman: I do all that. I'm really good at all that.
Christine Carter: Good, you're probably happy.
Paul Solman: I am happy. I'm very anxious though. I'm an anxious happy person.
Christine Carter: Okay, so focus for you. You know, I actually am one of those people that probably is more cheerful genetically than others, and I am very happy because I cultivate all of these things, but I am for sure very prone to anxiety and perfectionism. And lots of research shows that mindfulness can kind of calm our nerves and pull us away from that anxiety a little bit.
I try and take four or five deep breaths. Five seconds in, 10 seconds out, do that four times. It's only taken a minute and I will be physiologically calmer.
I do that in my bed when I first wake up in the morning because it's a gentler way for me to start my day rather than starting my day with a long list of things that I've got to get done or that I'm worrying about. I do it in my car when I park. I will do it when waiting in a carpool line to pick my kids up from school. I do it before I give a big talk. Anytime that I notice that I'm starting to feel a little tense. It's a way to consciously bring my heart rate down and it makes me more present to whatever I'm going to do in the next hour.
But you know, honestly, doing that once a day could have a lasting effect for the whole day.
RAY SUAREZ: The prospects for passage of immigration reform, by a big margin, appeared to brighten considerably today.
Supporters talked hopefully that they'd met demands for greatly expanded policing of the border with Mexico.
Two Republicans went to the Senate floor this afternoon to announce a potentially critical compromise on a key sticking point for many in the GOP.
SEN. JOHN HOEVEN, R-N.D.: Americans want immigration reform. Of that, there is no doubt. But they want us to get it right, and that means first and foremost securing the border.
SEN. BOB CORKER, R-Tenn.: Some people have described this as a border surge, and the fact is that we are investing resources in securing our border that have never been invested before.
RAY SUAREZ: Senators John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bob Corker of Tennessee worked out the beefed-up security provisions. Their language would nearly double the number of Border Patrol agents to 40,000 at a cost of $30 billion dollars over 10 years. It would also build 700 miles of additional border fencing, and it would make use of surveillance drones to monitor illegal crossings.
Some 11 million people would be granted legal status for now. They'd have to wait for green cards that grant permanent residency status, until the border security steps are completed. Hoeven and Corker negotiated with New York Sen. Charles Schumer and other members of the bipartisan gang of eight, who wrote the original bill.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: Speaking on behalf of the Democratic members of my bipartisan group, let's say this: Barring something unexpected, we're extremely enthusiastic that a bipartisan agreement is at hand. We are on the verge of a huge breakthrough on border security. With this agreement, we believe we have the makings of a strong bipartisan final vote in favor of this immigration reform bill.
RAY SUAREZ: Among Republicans, there were some signs the compromise might win that support. Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk said in a statement: "Once the Senate adopts our amendment, I will be proud to vote for a bill that secures our border and respects our heritage as an immigration nation."
Other Republicans, including Alabama's Jeff Sessions, were unmoved by the deal.
SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-Ala.: I think we can get something done, but it's a long way from that today, and I don't think this amendment is going to touch many of the objections that I spoke about.
RAY SUAREZ: If the bill ultimately scores a big enough win in the Senate, it could put new pressure on House Speaker John Boehner to let the House vote on the same bill.
Still, today, he said, in effect, don't count on it.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER, R-Ohio: Regardless of what the Senate does, the House is going to work its will. Our members, when we get back after July the 4th, the Republican Conference is going to have a special conference where there's going to be a broad discussion of this.
And out of that, hopefully, we will determine, you know, what the way forward is.
RAY SUAREZ: For now, at least, the House is moving toward a vote on a Republican bill that deals with enforcement only.
Meanwhile, back on the Senate floor, members continued to debate other amendments. The Senate is hoping to complete its work on the bill by July 4.
And we continue our discussions with lawmakers shaping the legislation.
I spoke with Sen. Hoeven a short time ago.
Senator, welcome to the program.
At this hour, are you feeling confident about all the pieces being in place for a deal that previously reluctant senators can sign on to?
JOHN HOEVEN: Well, we put have forward a piece of legislation that we're adding to the bill that greatly strengthens border security.
I think it is going to really help in terms of getting a bipartisan support for the immigration reform legislation. But, you know, we're kind of in the last minute of getting everything buttoned up, and then there's just a lot going on. But I'm hopeful that it will be very helpful to getting the kind of immigration reform the people of this country want.
RAY SUAREZ: What are the most important new provisions? What has been added that helps bring on board some people who might not have been able to support the bill before?
JOHN HOEVEN: It really strengthens border security.
We put a $3.2 billion dollar high-tech strategic plan in place right in the legislation that must be accomplished on the southern border, everything from unmanned aircraft and helicopters and planes flying the drones, to sensors and infrared detectors and the new VADER radars, and all these high-tech -- all the high-tech equipment that can make a big difference, but, in addition, a tremendous amount of manpower, 20,000 Border Patrol agents, 700 miles of fence.
We implement an E-Verify system to enforce employment law nationwide, electronic entry/exit systems at all of our international airports and seaports. This is about making sure we have a secure border, so that we don't find ourselves in the future in a situation where we have a tremendous amount of illegal immigrants in the country once we address the reforms that are contained in this legislation.
RAY SUAREZ: At a time when much of the debate on both sides of the Capitol Hill complex is dominated by arguments over money, this sounds pretty expensive.
JOHN HOEVEN: You know, it is, but it's fully paid for, fully paid for, and this legislation provides substantial deficit reduction as well. So this is about getting the job done with border security, about reforming our immigration system, about getting the workers we need, the H-1B, the immigration innovation high-end STEM workers, that kind of thing, to get our economy growing, fully paid for and actually provides significant deficit reduction as well.
RAY SUAREZ: Are there members of your caucus who simply aren't going to vote for any plan brokered between the “Gang of Eight” and members like yourself, that even with these new provisions, they're simply not going to go with you?
JOHN HOEVEN: You know, there are some members that are not going to vote for it, but we're working to get a very substantial bipartisan majority, and I believe we can. And I think that's going to help in terms of actually getting the bill all the way through the House and into law.
RAY SUAREZ: That was my next question. What about the House? How much of a vote do you need coming out of Senate? Does it build momentum coming out of the Senate if you can get that number well above 60?
JOHN HOEVEN: Oh, absolutely.
And I think we should be -- you know, we should try to be at 70 or more, if possible.
RAY SUAREZ: And you can do this before the Fourth of July recess, sir?
JOHN HOEVEN: Yes, I believe we can.
RAY SUAREZ: Sen. John Hoeven, thanks for joining us.
JOHN HOEVEN: Thank you. Good to be with you.
RAY SUAREZ: Now we get an opinion from a senator representing a Southern border state.
Tom Udall is a Democrat from New Mexico.
Do these amendments from Senators Corker and Hoeven get the Senate where it needs to be? Is there the elements now in place for a vote next week?
REP. TOM UDALL, D-N.M.: Well, as you heard, one of the key parts is really border security.
It's one of three. And this increases border security, invests more in it, in technology, and does everything you can to try and stop people from coming across. Now, one of the other keys here, obviously, is many people don't cross through the border. They come in on a visa, and when it expires, they stay. And so that's why the exit/entry system is important.
But the three central things that I think we have been focusing on are, number one, border security, number two, finding a pathway of earned citizenship for the 11 million people that are here. And the third is really dealing with employers, dealing with the situation where employers in the past have been hiring people they shouldn't be hiring.
We're going to have a system in place. They will check it out, and they will be able to call over the Internet and find out whether they can hire this individual. So all of this is very good for New Mexico. In fact, we have seen a real investment in all these areas over the last six or seven years, dramatic drop in apprehensions.
We have seen border security improved. And so I'm going to look very closely at this amendment and see what it does to further improve this situation.
RAY SUAREZ: Well, is this going to be more than some Democrats, some members of your caucus can take? They were ready to go ahead with an approval of this bill without these added measures, without the added cost, and without the two-step version, where first you do the border and then you do the legal residency.
Are you in a position where you may lose Democratic votes, while gaining Republican ones?
TOM UDALL: Well, that's always a possibility.
And because we don't know all the full details and exactly how it's going to function and see the language, everybody has always said that the devil is in the details on this bill. We know what we want in an overall way in terms of border security. We know that we want an earned path to citizenship, where you do those background checks at the front end, so that the criminals have to go back to their respective countries.
And then we also know we want to make sure that we don't create the situation over again and have employers hiring people that they shouldn't be hiring. And so those are the key components. And it's really the devil is in the details for many of us, I think, and we're going to be scrutinizing every amendment that comes up or every substitute, because we had a pretty good product coming out of the Judiciary Committee.
It had 41 bipartisan amendments, and it just -- it looked very good.
RAY SUAREZ: Do you worry about ending up what for -- what for members of the Democratic Party might be the worst of both worlds, putting things into the bill to win over Republican votes, and then not carrying the matter at the end of the day when it's all done?
TOM UDALL: Well, I think it's very important that we have -- you know, the way the Senate functions now is, you can't get anything out without 60 votes. And so we have to have bipartisanship because, right now, we only have 54 Democrats in the Senate, so we have to reach out and work with them.
And that's what these eight senators who have been working on this for a long time did. They put a bill together. They got it through Judiciary. It's on the floor, and we have to find ways to make sure that we're going to get a substantial margin. I don't know that it makes that much of a difference between 60 and 70.
I think the important thing is that we have made a statement that is bipartisan, and then it's going to be the responsibility of the House to either take up our bill or do something themselves and then get it into conference. And I think the president will play a key role in this in terms of what he's willing to sign and giving us the information we need to find out if this is a good piece of legislation.
RAY SUAREZ: Sen. Tom Udall, thanks for joining us, Senator.
TOM UDALL: Thank you. Real pleasure.
RAY SUAREZ: We have much more online. You can follow along with the debate and view my discussion series examining the legislation on our Immigration page.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The sell-off that started on Wall Street yesterday turned into a rout today. It was again fueled in part by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments that the Fed might start paring back stimulus efforts. The Dow Jones industrial average plunged nearly 354 points to close at 14,758. It's down 560 points in two days. The Nasdaq fell 78 points to close at 3,364.
The U.S. House today rejected a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill. The bill would have cut food stamps by $2 billion dollars a year, but that was too much for many Democrats and not enough for a number of Republicans. Democrats also objected to letting states set new work mandates for food stamp recipients. When it was over, leaders on both sides blamed the other.
REP. STENY HOYER, D-Md.: What happened today is, you turned a bipartisan bill necessary for our farmers, necessary for our consumers, necessary for the people of America that many of us would have supported, and you turned it into a partisan bill.
REP. ERIC CANTOR, R-Va.: It really is a disappointing day. I think that the minority has been a disappointing player today, Mr. Speaker, on the part of the people. But we remain ready to work with the gentleman. I'm hopeful that, tomorrow, perhaps next week will be a better week.
HARI SREENIVASAN: We get more now on just what happened to the farm bill from Todd Zwillich, who covers Congress for "The Takeaway" from Public Radio International and WNYC.
So, Todd, this was supposed to be bipartisan. There were supposed to be enough votes. What happened?
TODD ZWILLICH, WNYC Radio: Well, Hari, this bill really imploded on the floor.
What happened was, Republicans, who needed 218 votes to pass this thing, couldn't get it. They were relying on Democrats for up to 40 votes. When the bill came to the floor, they onto got 21 Democratic votes, nowhere near what they needed. Democrats are really upset over cuts to food stamps, other nutritional programs.
There had been a deal to supply these 40 Democratic votes for this bill that even John Boehner was signed on for, even though he never supports farm bills. He supported this one. But Democrats said that Republicans kept piling on other amendments that they didn't like, amendments that required more work requirements to get food stamps, in some cases drug testing to get food stamps.
And, in the end, too many Democrats bolted. They wouldn't support it, and the bill imploded.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, what happens next? Do we go back to rules from 1949, when the farm bill was permanent, or is this going to come back up again in another week?
TODD ZWILLICH: Probably not in another week. Nobody really knows what's going to happen. The existing farm bill authorization lasts until Sept. 30. The food stamp program lasts beyond that. It's on a different authorization. So, luckily, nobody who is on food stamps is going to get cut off on Sept. 30 if they can't reach a deal.
They have to go back to the drawing board here. They could still have a conference even if the House doesn't pass a bill. They have done that before, Hari, like on the highway bill. The House never really got much passed, but they still managed to get a conference because they really wanted a deal. That could happen here, but the way forward just is not that clear right now.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Todd Zwillich on Capitol Hill, thanks so much.
TODD ZWILLICH: Sure thing.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In Afghanistan today, President Hamid Karzai changed his mind again and said he is willing to join peace talks with the Taliban after all. That's provided the Taliban flag and nameplate are removed from the group's office in Doha, Qatar.
Meanwhile, the Taliban offered to release U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who has -- who was captured four years ago. In exchange, the U.S. would have to free five senior Taliban operatives now held at Guantanamo Bay.
The people of Singapore struggled today to draw a clear breath in the worst air pollution ever recorded there. A thick, smoky haze has drifted over from Sumatra in Indonesia, where farmers illegally burn land to clear it for planting. In recent days, the smog enveloped Singapore's skyline. It's an annual problem, and the city-state's prime minister warned there's no way to tell how long it will last.
PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, Singapore: We can't tell how this problem is going to develop, because it depends on the burning. It depends on the weather. It depends on the wind.
It can easily last for several weeks and quite possibly it could last longer until the dry season ends in Sumatra, which may be September or October.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The prime minister urged people to stay indoors as much as possible. But Indonesia criticized the public statements, saying they should have been conveyed through diplomatic channels. A cabinet minister there said -- quote -- "Singapore shouldn't act like children, making all that noise."
Those are some of the day's major stories -- now back to Jeff.
JEFFREY BROWN: And we pick up on the market's fall today.
For that, we're joined by David Wessel, economics editor of The Wall Street Journal, and James Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Wells Capital Management.
And, David, let me start with you.
One of the big things at issue here, of course, is the Fed. Explain what investors are reacting to.
DAVID WESSEL, The Wall Street Journal: Well, yesterday afternoon, the Federal Reserve ended a meeting, and they said they were a little more optimistic about the economic outlook.
And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said that the Fed would keep buying $85 billion dollars a month in Treasury bonds and mortgages, but that it planned, if the economy performs as he expects it to, to begin paring that back later this year and to stop this bond-buying by the middle of next year.
And he also said that short-term interest rates, the ones that we get on our bank deposits, the ones that banks pay each other overnight, will remain low for a long time. And he tried to say if the economy doesn't perform as we expect, we will rethink our plan.
Well, basically, investors must have thought, oh, my gosh, the day has come when the Fed is going to start to make the U.S. economy and the world economy go cold turkey on all this easy money, and they -- nobody wants to be the last guy out of the market. And so they reacted very, very swiftly, more than I suspect the Fed anticipated.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, James Paulsen, that is a question. It's not really -- is it really such a surprise? Because everyone knew at some point the Fed would do this.
JAMES PAULSEN, Wells Capital Management: I don't think so, Jeff.
I think that part of the big response that David speaks to has to do with the fact that we have come up so much, I think, in the last year. We had a really big run, 25 percent, 30 percent run. Often, in big bull markets, you have very violent, but short-term sort of pullbacks. And I think this was a catalyst that allowed traders to sell, the excuse to sell.
I do think that people calm down a little bit, and we adjust to a little higher bond yields that we're seeing here in the last few days as the Fed stops buying many as many bonds, I think we will calm down and realize that the Fed's real message is that the economy to them is looking a little better, and they think for the first time the economy can get along with a little less support from them all on its own. As an equity investor, that's probably a good thing.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, David, that is the paradox here, isn't it? We get excited because the market drops so dramatically, but the Fed is doing this in part because it thinks the economy is getting better.
DAVID WESSEL: Exactly. No, that is a paradox.
So, if Jim is right, and people begin after a couple days to realize, you know, this is really good news, we want to live in an economy where the Fed doesn't have to be keeping interest rates near zero forever and where we bump along at such lousy growth, then people could come to their senses.
I think there are two possibilities for less-good outcomes. One is that the markets overreact, and that hurts this very fragile recovery. Look at housing. So mortgage rates are up quite a bit. They're at the heist level in 14 months. They're still low by historic standards. But if mortgage rates keep going up, will that hurt the housing market? And will that make -- will it rain on the Fed's forecast?
The second thing is, we -- this doesn't happen in a vacuum. The rest of the world is always changing, and there were a couple of changes today. One is China seems to be having some problems. They're trying to step on the brakes, have less credit available to their economy, but they have just even more trouble than the Fed at figuring out exactly how to do that smoothly.
So, we saw short-term interest rates rise abrupt abruptly in China at the same time there was a report that factory output is down. And then every day there seems to be another headline out of Europe, sometimes good, sometimes bad. Today was a little worrisome that maybe there was some tension between Greece and the International Monetary Fund.
So, this all comes at a time when the rest of the world is very unsettled.
JEFFREY BROWN: Jim Paulsen, pick up on the China part of that in particular. How do you interpret what happened there and why it had such an impact on our market?
JAMES PAULSEN: Well, personally, Jeff, I think China is the biggest risk, rather than the Fed.
I think the slowdown in the emerging world, led maybe by China, is heavily influencing global export markets, particularly United States, and it's one of the reasons that manufacturing is the weakest part of our economy at the moment here, not our consumer or housing industry. Our domestic industries are doing fine. I think the emerging world is holding back our production side.
So, that's a bigger issue. Personally, I think that it's become more of a crisis pitch in China might be a good thing, because it might -- as David says, it might get policy officials in that region to ease more in the face of that and maybe turn that situation around a little bit.
If I could say one thing about interest rates here ...
JEFFREY BROWN: Sure.
JAMES PAULSEN: ... I think the reason that rates are going higher in this country is because we're finally getting more confident about the future.
You know, so which to me is better? Is it better to have a three percent mortgage, but most of us are scared that Armageddon is just around the corner? Or is it better to have a 3.5 percent mortgage with most of us starting to feel more comfortable about the future?
I think higher rates with the more comfortable general populace about the economic future is a much better situation than what we had even with lower rates earlier.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, David, that goes -- that sort of all depends on where you're sitting, right? So, our viewers who are watching, it depends on their particular position, whether they're watching the market, whether they want to buy a house, et cetera.
DAVID WESSEL: Well, that's, of course, true. There's always winners and losers.
And if you're putting money in the bank, and interest rates go up, you're happy, and if you're borrowing money and interest rates go up, you're not happy. But I think Jim makes a very good point. If this is a an abrupt and unsettling step towards a more normal economy, where the Fed doesn't have to provide so much credit, where the private sector is able to grow a little better each month than it did the month before, that is the world we want to get to.
Everybody wants to be in a place where the U.S. economy is strong enough for interest rates to be more normal. The question is, are interest rates rising too fast, getting ahead of the Fed and getting ahead of the economy? Or is this a symptom of an improving economy? And I don't see -- think we really know now. People have different views on that. We will have to see what happens.
JEFFREY BROWN: We will watch.
David Wessel and James Paulsen, thanks, both, so much.
JAMES PAULSEN: You're welcome.
DAVID WESSEL: Thank you.
RAY SUAREZ: Now: some striking results affirming a vaccine's effectiveness at reducing infections and a cancer risk.
Margaret Warner has the story.
MARGARET WARNER: Infection by a virus that causes cervical cancer has dropped more than 50 percent in teenage girls since a vaccine against the virus was introduced in 2006. That's the finding in a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testing the effectiveness of the new vaccine against human papilloma virus, or HPV.
It found the infection rate in girls between the ages of 14 and 19 dropped by 56 percent, even though only one-third of teenage girls in the U.S. have been vaccinated with the full three-dose course. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted virus. An estimated 75 percent to 80 percent of men and women are infected during their lifetime, but most do not develop cancer.
For more, we turn to Dr. Anne Schuchat of the CDC. She's the director of its Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
And, Dr. Schuchat, welcome.
How significant is this study?
DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: This is really exciting news, Margaret.
We have a vaccine that can prevent cancer, and we already have great results of the impact it's having in teenaged girls so far.
MARGARET WARNER: And did you expect to see this significant a reduction in such a short period of time, especially when all teenaged girls in America are not vaccinated?
ANNE SCHUCHAT: You know, I was surprised. We're vaccinating today in order to prevent cancers that will happen decades from now. We have also had very low uptake of the vaccine.
So this was an early look at the infection rate in teens, as well as other age groups, and we were really excited to see that we're already seeing this impact. We think the impact is greater than we were expecting with the low coverage that we have, and that's really good news, because, unfortunately, we don't have good coverage.
We haven't had good uptake of this vaccine so far. So, from my perspective, this is a real wakeup that we need to do better and get this vaccine out to all the teens in the country.
MARGARET WARNER: So tell us about how many teenaged girls are getting this vaccination? When do you recommend they get it? And when you say there hasn't been enough of an uptake, what do you mean?
ANNE SCHUCHAT: We recommend that teenage girls and boys receive the HPV vaccine series starting at age 11 or 12.
So far, only about half of the girls in the 13-to-17-year-old age group have received one dose of vaccine, and only about a third have received all three doses. Our recommendation for boys is fairly new, so we haven't really begun getting good results on that yet.
Some people wonder whether we can do a good job at vaccinating teenagers. You know, we have really high vaccination rates for infants and toddlers in the U.S. But what we have seen is very good uptake of other teenage vaccines. Recently, the vaccine against whooping cough, or pertussis, the vaccine against meningitis, those are both close to 80 percent uptake in the teenage years.
But, for HPV, we're really stuck at this one-third of girls with the full series, and only half with even one dose. We know we can do better, and we need to.
MARGARET WARNER: I want to get more into why, why the resistance, why it isn't bigger.
But first of all, remind us of -- I reported in the introduction that 75 percent to 80 percent of Americans get this HPV at some point in their lives, but how many of those cases turn into cancer?
ANNE SCHUCHAT: Right.
We think that about 19,000 women gets an HPV-related cancer every year. And about 12 -- I'm sorry -- about 8,000 men get an HPV-related cancer each year. Most of the -- the most common type of HPV-related cancer in women is cervical cancer.
The most common type of HPV-related cancer in men is throat cancer. So, one thing that we like to say to put this in perspective is, with the level of vaccination coverage we have right now, we are missing the chance to prevent a lot of cancers in girls.
We know that if we could raise our coverage from about 30 percent to the 80 percent figure that's our target, every year, we could prevent 4,400 cervical cancers and 1,400 fatal cervical cancers in girls. So one of the things that keeps me up at night is how are we going to improve our program, because every year our program stays at this low level, another 4,400 cervical cancers will happen.
MARGARET WARNER: So, what do you think explains the difficulty you have had in getting more American families to give this to their daughters?
ANNE SCHUCHAT: I think this is a complex issue.
Of course, there's been a lot of media attention to HPV vaccine. But one of the things we're finding in our research is that clinicians, doctors and nurses, are not giving strong recommendations. They're kind of sending mixed signals or mixed messages. I don't think the pediatricians in the country have really realized that they're the ones who can prevent cancers in this population.
The cancers show up later on in life. The pediatricians don't treat the cancers, but it's that time period, the teenage years, where we really need to give the vaccine out. We give the vaccine out before infection to prevent the disease and the cancers that can occur.
A lot of parents, and even some providers are wondering, can't we just wait until they're sexually active? Why do we have to do this or talk about this now at this early age? But it's just critical to get the vaccine in before sexual activity begins.
MARGARET WARNER: When this vaccine was first introduced, there was some controversy, especially among more conservative-minded people, that it would encourage early sexual activity or there might be health risks. How much of a factor do you think that kind of resistance is, and what do you say to parents who have those concerns?
ANNE SCHUCHAT: There's no evidence to suggest that vaccinating against HPV will change sexual behavior patterns in the future.
What I say to people is, how can you not want to prevent cancer in your daughter or son? As a clinician, as a parent, as a community member, how can we not want to use an anti-cancer vaccine?
MARGARET WARNER: All right, well, Dr. Anne Schuchat, thank you very much for joining us.
ANNE SCHUCHAT: My pleasure. Thank you, Margaret.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, ask yourself, does having more money make us happy?
NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman went in search of answers. It's part of his ongoing reporting “Making Sen$e of Financial News.”
PAUL SOLMAN: The University of California at Berkeley, a key location for one of the hot new subfields in economics: happiness studies. But, despite living in the wealthiest economy in the history of the world, Americans are a surprisingly unhappy lot.
Christine Carter is a sociologist at Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center.
CHRISTINE CARTER, University of California, Berkeley: Usually, what we see across countries is that, as GDP goes up, happiness goes up or subjective well-being tends to go up.
And the U.S. is kind of a notable case, in the sense that in the last 35 years as GDP has grown, we actually haven't seen our average happiness level go up.
PAUL SOLMAN: We have been following this line of research for years, research that studies the psychological and physiological effects of growing economic inequality.
As economist Bob Frank in his 1999 book "Luxury Fever" wrote:
ROBERT H. FRANK, Author, "Luxury Fever": Concern about position is a very deep-seated part of the human brain chemistry.
PAUL SOLMAN: So deep-seated that stressing over it can be harmful to your health, as British epidemiologist Michael Marmot wrote in his 2004 book "The Status Syndrome."
MICHAEL MARMOT, Author, "The Status Syndrome": Health and disease, the good and bad effects of where you are in the hierarchy, mediated by the efforts of chronic stress.
PAUL SOLMAN: And according to another British epidemiologist, Richard Wilkinson, in his 2011 book "The Spirit Level," the greater the degree of economic inequality, the worse an entire nation's welfare.
RICHARD WILKINSON, Author, "The Spirit Level": Societies with bigger income differences between rich and poor do worse on a whole range of measures. They have worse health. They have more violence. They have more drug problems. Standards of child well-being are worse.
PAUL SOLMAN: But even if average happiness hasn't risen, those atop the economy should be content, since they have prospered as never before.
Turns out they're not happier either. So, how come?
JENNIFER STELLAR, University of California, Berkeley: The first thing I'm going to do is put on a respiration belt for you.
PAUL SOLMAN: Grad student Jennifer Stellar was about to measure the breathing of an upper-middle class guinea pig.
JENNIFER STELLAR: And this is to measure skin conductance.
PAUL SOLMAN: My sweating.
Is this like the lie-detector test?
JENNIFER STELLAR: It's very similar.
PAUL SOLMAN: My heart rate.
This is like an EKG.
JENNIFER STELLAR: Yes, this is measuring your heartbeat.
PAUL SOLMAN: To get baseline readings, Stellar had me watch a mundane video about building a cement block wall. And then she hit me with this.
JENNIFER STELLAR: So you can start the video now.
GIRL: I'm 12 years old and I have neuroblastoma and I have been fighting it for seven years. It's really, really serious. It's a very rare cancer. PAUL SOLMAN: Stellar has run the experiment on hundreds of random people to test a hypothesis: that those of higher economic status feel less compassion than those lower down. And compassion turns out to be a key ingredient of welfare, of happiness.
Stellar's mentor, Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner, says the lab postulated that kids of higher and lower economic status experience the world in very different ways.
DACHER KELTNER, University of California, Berkeley: When you grow up in lower-class backgrounds and lower-class circumstances, there's just more difficulty in your environment; there's more unpredictability; there's more risk; there are more threats.
And what we have learned from really interesting neuroscience is that humans, in the face of threat, connect to other people. And then complementarily, we thought, you know, if you grow up in a more privileged circumstance, you orient inwards to what's inside of you. And those are two fundamentally different ways of approaching the world.
PAUL SOLMAN: In his own early work, Keltner found socioeconomic differences in the ability to read facial expressions.
DACHER KELTNER: Here's anger, sadness. Here's sympathy, or compassion.
PAUL SOLMAN: It turned out those lower down in the economy were better judges of emotional expressions, expressions rather more subtle than these.
DACHER KELTNER: So given what we found early, we developed a hypothesis that lower-class people should respond with more compassion when other people are suffering. They're just paying more careful attention.
PAUL SOLMAN: Stellar's experiments were the first to test the theory. And, indeed, lower-income subjects not only reported more compassion; their vital signs indicated they really meant it, especially their slower heart rates.
And that began to worry me. What if, true to my own socioeconomic status, but contrary to my self-image, my heart rate hadn't slowed? Stellar tried to assuage me.
JENNIFER STELLAR: It's not that upper-class individuals see someone who's suffering and just they don't care. It's that they just maybe don't notice in their environment that there are people around in need to the same extent as lower social class individuals.
RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON, University of California, Berkeley: Being lower in socioeconomic status is a two-sided coin. You get the risk, but you also get the protection.
PAUL SOLMAN: Rudy Mendoza-Denton also teaches psychology at Berkeley, studies the health effects of class differences. His lab looks for inflammation linked to a host of diseases. And, yes, corroborating Drs. Marmot and Wilkinson, it's finding plenty among those lower down the class ladder.
RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON: You put a ladder on a piece of paper and you say, OK, relative to other people in the United States, where would you place yourself along these 10 rungs? And that measure has strong predictive effects for health.
PAUL SOLMAN: The higher up, you are ...
RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON: The higher up you are, the better you are. It matters not only whether you are objectively wealthy or higher in social class, but how you feel relative to other people.
PAUL SOLMAN: So feeling low can mean greater stress, worse health, more unhappiness. But, says Mendoza-Denton, there's a protective strategy. RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON: Being lower in social class almost by definition makes it so that you can't control your outcomes. The way that people who are lower in social class cope with that is by relying on the things that they know they can expect to be there. And what do people know they can expect to be there? Their friends, their family, their community.
PAUL SOLMAN: So if I were lower on the economic totem pole, I wouldn't be very happy, but supposedly I would be more connected to others.
And that got me to worrying. If test results showed me as uncompassionate, would that then brand me as a typical emotionally bankrupt prosperous American?
RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON: Regardless of the measure that you use to assess a particular state, or feeling, or attitude that you have, those attitudes can be changed.
PAUL SOLMAN: So, even though, subconsciously, I may not be as compassionate a person as I think I am, I can become that person?
RODOLFO MENDOZA-DENTON: There's a very simple word that we all use and are familiar with, and it's called learning.
CHRISTINE CARTER: For eons, we have thought of happiness as a personality trait, and it's actually much more appropriate to think of it as a skill or a set of skills that we can teach ourselves and teach our children, that we can practice with them.
PAUL SOLMAN: More and more research confirms what they're finding here at Berkeley, says Christine Carter, not that those who have less are happier, but that those who have and spend more are often just speeding up the happiness treadmill.
CHRISTINE CARTER: The wealthier you are, the more money you spend on stuff that increases your sense of what you need in life -- and that can be a little bit of an addictive cycle that does not bring happiness. Likability and kindness and empathy, these are things that make you happy. They connect you to other people, and that's the most important thing.
PAUL SOLMAN: OK, enough theory. Let's talk about me. I try to be likable, kind. Had the video provoked involuntary compassion, or hadn't it?
Not initially, said Jennifer Stellar.
JENNIFER STELLAR: What we noticed is, the first time you watched it, you didn't have a very strong physiological response.
PAUL SOLMAN: But in order to shoot this scene from more than one angle, I actually had to watch the video several times.
JENNIFER STELLAR: So, I looked at the second time you watched the video, and we found when you watched it that time that we saw a decrease in heart rate, which is what we tend to find when somebody is experiencing compassion.
PAUL SOLMAN: And the third time.
So maybe the more fortunate aren't really less compassionate deep down. Or maybe you shouldn't read much into one person's first reaction.
Or I can think of one other possibility. If you're really too compassionate, you will never rise into the upper class.
JENNIFER STELLAR: And that's one of the things we will be able to test with our work. If you're too compassionate, you won't be able to be cutthroat enough make it to the top.
PAUL SOLMAN: For the sake of the American economy, let's hope that isn't the finding of further research here at the Greater Good Science Center.
RAY SUAREZ: And you can see more of Paul's conversation with Christine Carter on our Making Sen$e page.
In his next story, Paul examines more about the psychology of wealth.
JEFFREY BROWN: Next: Sometimes, sports reaches beyond its regular base of fans. And this has been one of those weeks filled with drama.
ERIK SPOELSTRA, Miami Heat Head Coach: They are the best two words in team sports: Game Seven.
JEFFREY BROWN: Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra set the stage, after his team rallied to beat the San Antonio Spurs in overtime Tuesday night. Game six became an instant classic in a title series that features a raft of future Hall of Famers, including Miami star LeBron James.
LEBRON JAMES, Miami Heat: Oh, it's by far the best game I have ever been a part of. To be a part of something like this is something you will never be able to recreate once you're done playing the game, and I'm blessed to be a part of something like this.
JEFFREY BROWN: James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh make up Miami's big three. A victory tonight would mean back-to-back titles for their franchise.
For San Antonio, veteran Tim Duncan leads a Spurs team that has never lost in the finals. A win Thursday would garner him a fifth title.
TIM DUNCAN, San Antonio Spurs: We know what's at stake. We know what we have to do. We know the opportunity we let slip through our fingers. It's all about just -- just winning the title. It's not about a situation or what's led up to it.
JEFFREY BROWN: In the meantime, another epic playoff battle is being waged on the ice between two of the National Hockey League's original six teams. The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are deadlocked at two games apiece in the Stanley Cup final. Three of the four games have gone to overtime, including last night's thriller, a 6-to-5 win for Chicago. The Blackhawks host game five on Saturday night.
Mike Pesca of NPR has been trying to keep up with all this. Tonight, he joins us from, where else, Miami, for game seven of the NBA Finals.
And, Mike, start right there. You are, of course, by definition, excited at this time of year, but what makes this one stand out for the rest of us?
MIKE PESCA, National Public Radio: No, no, no. Excited? I just keep my professional distance and note the winners and losers.
Are you kidding? I'm extremely excited. When the Heat were trailing by 10 entering the fourth quarter and the mood was gloomy, I think I and everyone else in the arena was saying, well, let's just put a fifth ring on Tim Duncan's finger.
But there LeBron came back. He spurred the team on without a headband, three-point shots by Ray Allen. It was just an amazing, amazing game. And I really think this game seven is, all game sevens, by definition, very important, extremely important. You heard Erik Spoelstra, the Heat coach, there saying it's the greatest word in sports or the greatest phrase.
I think Gregg Popovich would disagree since he had the game six all but won. But it really is the most anticipated game I think since 1984 in one of those Celtics vs. Lakers series. And this just couldn't be bigger. The TV ratings are big. And everyone is fascinated and captivated by LeBron James. Everyone has an opinion on that guy.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, there's LeBron James and then there's this other team, the Spurs, with their own very veteran team that, as you just described, let things fall -- fall away at the end.
Now, one question is, are they -- how do they come back after something like that?
MIKE PESCA: Well, both teams are physically drained, equally physically drained.
And after his press conference Tuesday, LeBron James had a lot of trouble even getting up out of his seat. He did take the time to note after his press conference yesterday he got up pretty spryly and said, see how easy that was? It's the emotional impact that a lot of people are focusing on.
I think there is no team better suited to deal with weathering that storm than the San Antonio Spurs, from their best player, Tim Duncan, who is ever stoic, but really doesn't seem to let emotions affect him or take him out of the game, to their coach, Gregg Popovich, probably the greatest tactician in the NBA, probably the greatest motivator in the NBA.
They just have veterans. And even though fans are perhaps foisting their own emotion on the team, the fans who are devastated are saying, how are the Spurs going to get back there from an emotional level? I think the Spurs are professionals, and the emotions I don't think are going to be the thing that makes the game turn one way or another.
JEFFREY BROWN: We talked about this last game, where it went into overtime, it was so close. Before that, they took turns sort of killing each other, and it was interesting to watch the team rebound.
These are not only great teams, but they're smart teams. They learn how to adjust.
MIKE PESCA: Yes, exactly. It's part of the game.
Now, I think for the Heat, it's been too much a part of their game, rebounding or zigzagging, because they have alternated between wins and losses 13 games in a row. If they were to win tonight, that will be their first two games in a row having won since the Indiana series.
The last time they won two games in a row was May 20. But no one is saying, oh, it will be hard for the Heat to concentrate or win two in a row, because they have game seven on their home court. In the last five game sevens, the home team has won in the finals.
JEFFREY BROWN: And you mentioned LeBron James, of course, as the focus of -- always the focus, really, whether loved or hated, villain or hero, again tonight, right?
MIKE PESCA: Yes.
And I notice that no one said, hey, Tim Duncan only had five points in the second half and zero points in overtime. No one said, what will this do to Tim Duncan's legacy? And I think that is fair. I think Tim Duncan's legacy is in place. Maybe LeBron James' is, too.
We like to heap all amount of scorn on LeBron James. He's the focal point of their team. As he goes, the team goes. But the thing is, he usually goes exceptionally well and then, by the end of the game, he puts up triple doubles and statistics and fantastic plays that has everyone forgetting -- maybe everyone forgetting -- that day when he said, "I'm taking my talents to South Beach."
Look, a win today will mean three trips to the finals since he's been a member of the Heat, two championships. Who could say anything about that? Well, the answer is everyone who has a sports column next year the moment LeBron James goes down in a series.
But, still, he's played really well, though you have to say, if the Heat are to win tonight, he will have to play well again.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, now, just in our last minute, I know this is going to be hard, Mike, but if I can take you -- take your mind off basketball in Miami and to the ice, because the interesting story there is that the season that started so -- about as badly as it possibly could, because it didn't start, right, may end ...
MIKE PESCA: Yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: ... is ending with a very -- in a very compelling fashion that shows the sport maybe at its best.
MIKE PESCA: Right.
And 48-game season because of the work stoppage made for -- perhaps every regular season game a bit more meaningful, but the teams didn't all play each other. The Western Conference didn't play the Eastern Conference. So, the Blackhawks were the best team in the West. Pittsburgh was actually the best team in the East, but Boston was really, really good.
These -- if it goes seven, these seven games in the NHL finals or however many it will be, the first chance the West is facing the East. And it's been great. Three of the four have gone to overtime. We finally saw an offensive explosion last night. The goaltending of Boston's Tuukka Rask has been exceptional.
I wouldn't be surprised if the sport of hockey and the sport of basketball both enjoy some dramatic game seven climaxes during this season.
JEFFREY BROWN: And very briefly, Mike, also, I hadn't realized, but these are two of the original teams, I mean, in hockey. They hadn't played each other, these two original teams, in a long time.
MIKE PESCA: Yes.
And, you know, the Rangers, the Maple Leafs, the Canadiens and -- who am I missing? Who is the sixth member of the original six?
JEFFREY BROWN: Did you have Montreal in there?
MIKE PESCA: Yes, yes, yes. They -- Detroit Red Wings. Sorry, Detroit.
Sure. And hockey is a sport with tons of tradition, and these two teams lately have been good. They went through pretty dark periods, both of them, for about 20 years. And, you know, whoever wins will give a really, really rabid fan base a bit of a gift, a huge gift with the Stanley Cup.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Mike Pesca of NPR, enjoy tonight and the rest. Thanks so much.
MIKE PESCA: Sure.
We are entering the last week of June, which means it's time for the annual waiting game.
Are we waiting for sweet corn? For the neighborhood pool to open? For Congress to leave town?
No. As always, we are waiting for the Supreme Court.
Tom Goldstein, the lawyer who runs the closely-watched ScotusBlog, captured it best on Thursday, as we were all refreshing our browsers, hoping for news of hot Supreme Court decision-making.
His comment, posted at 10:06 a.m, was: "fingers drumming on desk."
The time stamp mattered, because the court normally releases its opinions shortly after 10 a.m. on the days they set aside to issue decisions. By 10:30, we know there will be no more decisions made that day.
No matter how the dominoes fall, next week's decisions will not be theoretical
This year, partisans of all stripes and reporters -- not to mention citizens -- of all platforms have particular reason to stay perched at the edge of our seats.
There are nearly a dozen cases left to be decided, but with barely a week left in the court's term, here are the ones we await with bated breath. Taken together and interpreted broadly, the court decisions could well redefine civil rights in this country.
Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin was argued last October, making it the longest standing case -- and perhaps most eagerly awaited -- remaining on the docket.
The plaintiff, Abigail Fisher, is a white woman who argues she was denied an undergraduate slot because the state chose to reserve admission for minority candidates.
The Texas system has a two-tier admission procedure which reserves space for every Texas student who ranks in the top 10 percent of his or her high school graduating class. That fills up most of the class. But the university also sets aside about 19 percent of its offers for admission to students who possess other qualities -- among them, status as a racial minority. Fisher did not place among the top 10 percent, and argues she suffered reverse discrimination when she was denied admission.
If the court rules for Fisher, it does not entirely destroy all affirmative action programs, but it sets the stage for it. Another case, this one from Michigan, is being teed up for the next court term. Advocates on both sides of that long-running argument are watching closely. The question is, how far will the justices go?
And don't look for a typical 5 to 4 split on this one. Justice Elena Kagan has recused herself from the case.
Voting Rights (Shelby County v. Holder)
Since 1965, the federal government has held certain jurisdictions -- most of them in the South -- to a higher standard when it came to protecting voting rights for minorities.
Among those that fell under this special scrutiny is Shelby County, Ala., where local officials cannot so much as shift the location of polling place without getting the Justice Department's permission first. This "pre-clearance" rule -- embedded in Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act -- applies to nine states, and to jurisdictions in seven more.
The government has paid special attention to laws that require photo identification or changed district lines, and Section 5 has been extended twice in the intervening 48 years.
There was good reason for this in the days when local officials went out of their way to create hurdles to prevent black voters from exercising their franchise. But states like Alabama -- and others in the pipeline as well -- say times have changed, and the need to prove they are not discriminating has passed.
There are actually two cases before the court. One would reverse a statute -- the Defense of Marriage Act -- that defines marriage as between a man and a woman (United States v. Windsor). The measure, which was actually signed by Democratic President Bill Clinton, has long rankled those who believe the government is enforcing inequality by denying gay couples access to federal benefits like Social Security survivor benefits.
But for those who interpret the meaning of marriage more narrowly, government approval is considered a bridge too far.
The second case, which comes from California, could reinstate a state ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, which prohibited marriage between same-sex couples (Hollingsworth v. Perry). Supporters of Prop 8 believe marriage should be reserved for those who can procreate biologically. Opponents say this is, essentially, none of the government's business.
No matter how the dominoes fall, next week's decisions will not be theoretical. The outcomes will be immediate and easy to grasp, affecting the lives of students and families and aspirational Americans of all sorts.
But for now, we wait. And drum our fingers on our desks.
Editor's note: This text has been corrected to reflect that Proposition 8 prohibits same-sex marriage.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection bike patrol agent in Nogales, Ariz., on June 2, 2010. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.
The comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate received a boost Thursday with the announcement of an agreement on beefed up border security provisions, putting the overhaul on a path toward passage in the chamber next week. But there are lingering questions about whether the breakthrough in the Senate will produce enough force to push the House to act on the legislation.
The border security compromise reached Thursday by Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., would require the federal government hire an additional 20,000 border patrol agents and complete 700 miles of fencing along the southern border before the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country could obtain green cards.
"Some people have described this as a border surge, and the fact is that we are investing resources in securing our border that have never been invested before," Corker said.
The proposal would cost about $30 billion, which supporters said would be offset by the $197 billion in deficit savings over the next decade, a projection released earlier this week by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
"This is about getting the job done with border security," Hoeven told Ray Suarez on Thursday's NewsHour. The North Dakota Republican predicted the deal will make a big difference as the Senate moves toward final passage.
Suarez asked Hoeven if the measure would help build momentum to get more than 60 votes in the Senate. "Oh, absolutely, and I think we should be, we should try to be at 70 or more if possible," he responded.
The Washington Post's Aaron Blake and Ed O'Keefe compiled a whip count of how senators are likely to vote on the overall bill given the likely inclusion of the Hoeven-Corker amendment. (And Fox News' Bill O'Reilly endorsed immigration reform Thursday night.)
By the time the Senate adjourned late Thursday the official language of the new border security plan had not been introduced. That is expected to come Friday.
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, urged his colleagues earlier in the day Thursday to "take a deep breath" and evaluate the proposal before signing off on the legislation. "It seems to me we have the cart ahead of the horse," Cornyn said.
Others said they remained skeptical the Hoeven-Corker provision would do enough to address their concerns with the overall bill. "Fundamentally there are a host of problems I think with the legislation, and if we were to deal those in an effective way, in a way that meets the common interest of the American people, I think we can get something done," Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions told reporters following an afternoon press conference. "But we're a long way from that today and I don't think this amendment is going to touch many of the objections I spoke about."
Democrats welcomed the Hoeven-Corker compromise.
"This agreement has the power to change minds in the Senate," said Gang of Eight member Chuck Schumer of New York, who helped negotiate the agreement with Hoeven.
The New York Times Michael Shear notes that President Barack Obama's administration has launched a stealth campaign on Capitol Hill to help secure passage of the bill.
And while the prospects for a decisive vote in the Senate have improved, the bill faces an uncertain future in the House, especially following Thursday's collapse of the farm bill.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, signalled Thursday that a strong showing in the Senate would not influence the path forward in his chamber. "Regardless of what the Senate does, the House is going to work its will."
On Thursday's NewsHour, Suarez also spoke with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., about his take as a border state senator. Udall said that a strong vote will send a message to the House. "I don't know that it makes that much of a difference between 60 and 70. I think the important thing is that we have made a statement that is bipartisan, and then it's going to be the responsibility of the House to either take up our bill or do something themselves and then get it into conference," he said.
Watch the segment here or below:Watch Video
Humanitarian organizations that fight HIV and AIDS abroad and receive funding from the U.S. government won a battle in the Supreme Court over free speech rights on Thursday, NewsHour reporter-producer Katelyn Polantz reported.
The groups, including the Joint United Nations Program on HIV and AIDS, said they were stymied by U.S. government policy set in 2003. Congress had allocated to governments and non-governmental organizations $60 billion to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS and other diseases. But the money came with a caveat -- the groups couldn't use it to advocate for the legalization of prostitution, and they would have to formally adopt a policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.
The government telling the organizations to adopt an ideological policy was the problem in this case, the Supreme Court found in a 6-to-2 ruling. That measure, tied to the government funding, overstepped the groups' First Amendment rights. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion, and humanitarian organizations rejoiced. They had argued for this outcome -- one that could allow them to continue working peacefully in countries that allow prostitution, and helping former sex trafficking victims, prostitutes and their children.
On the other hand, the U.S. government had warned in its case that this outcome could hurt groups fighting against sex trafficking and could undercut the efforts of the humanitarian organizations.
The ruling could carry further. Congress may have to curtail the ways it attaches conditions to federal funding.
Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia dissented. They argued the government's parameters were "nothing more than a means of selecting suitable agents to implement the government's chosen strategy to eradicate HIV/AIDS."
"That is perfectly permissible under the Constitution," they wrote.
The Supreme Court now has 11 pending decisions after Thursday's opinions were released. We're watching a few major topics still outstanding: affirmative action in higher education, the Voting Rights Act section 5, and California's Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which both involve same-sex marriage.
Don't miss the updates to our Oral History Hotline page, which collects audio memories from when the Voting Rights Act passed.
Monday is the next decision day. The NewsHour homepage will host SCOTUSblog's live coverage beginning at 10 a.m. In her column this week, NewsHour senior correspondent Gwen Ifill commented on the seemingly endless summer wait for those big decisions.
For more on the Supreme Court's 2012-2013 term, visit our SCOTUS page.
Conservative Republicans joined with Democrats Thursday to defeat the farm bill, embarrassing Boehner and kicking off a bipartisan blame game. Nancy Pelosi dubbed the exercise "amateur hour." Lobbyists were stunned. You can watch our report.
Senators may be close to a deal to prevent student loan rates from increasing on July 1.
The president is holding his first meeting with his privacy and civil liberties board in the wake of concerns over government surveillance programs.
With a Montpelier, Vt. dateline, the Associated Press reflects on Howard Dean's political career.
And CNN reports that Dean would consider another run for president in 2016.
Sen. Claire McCaskill said she got a call from Hillary Clinton after endorsing the former secretary of state ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid.
A Republican super PAC officially launched a "Stop Hillary" effort.
If birthright citizenship was repealed and you had to earn your American citizenship by passing an exam, would you?
Guy Taylor writes for the Washington Times about a report from a State Department watchdog that found the bureau "charged with promoting the U.S. image to the world is rife with management problems that have left 'an atmosphere of secrecy, suspicion and uncertainty.'"
California Gov. Jerry Brown was handed a mandate from federal judges to release prisoners from the state's overcrowded prisons.
Reggie Love gets all sentimental.
Game. On. WUSA covers the Congressional Women's Softball Game.
What could be better than a live Doubleheader with Hari Sreenivasan, Mark Shields and David Brooks Friday night? A live Doubleheader with prizes. That's right, people. Tweet your suggested questions to @NewsHour using the hashtag #DoubleheaderLive.
Do you think more money would make you happier? It might. Has money increased the emotional well-being of most Americans? No. Paul Solman explores the relationship between money and behavior, and gets some insight into his own state of mind.
Miss Gwen's "Ask me Anything" on Reddit? Relive it here.
NPR's Mike Pesca explains to NewsHour viewers why the NBA and NHL finals are so captivating.
So this definitely isn't CPAC pic.twitter.com/Mnrt6krBpW— daveweigel (@daveweigel) June 20, 2013
Farmbill that just died in House passed Senate 66-27. So, remind me why a big margin in SEN for immigration matters for House?— amy walter (@amyewalter) June 20, 2013
Katelyn Polantz and desk assistant Mallory Sofastaii contributed to this report.
For more political coverage, visit our politics page.
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Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.
Follow the politics team on Twitter:Follow @burlijFollow @kpolantzFollow @elizsummersFollow @tiffanymullonFollow @meenaganesanFollow @ljspbs
What is it that wealth does to people? On Thursday's Making Sen$e segment, Paul Solman traveled to the University of California, Berkeley, to examine the connection between wealth and happiness. His report on the psychology of wealth, which appears above and is slated to air on PBS NewsHour Friday, shows that people who feel less well-off, whether in real terms or in simulated settings, tend to act more charitably. An excerpted transcript of his extended interview with University of California, Berkeley, psychologist Dacher Keltner follows. Dacher is the founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at Berkeley.
Dacher Keltner: We're starting to paint this really interesting picture of how wealth influences generosity. If you study at the societal level, who gives higher proportions of their income away to charity? Lower class people give more.
And what's really interesting is we're finding that lower class people just have a sharper sensitivity to need and to people who could use a little help. But when you simply prime, or you just get people from an upper class background, to think about the need in their environment, you see rises in generosity.
Paul Solman: Rises to the same extent that poorer people give away their money?
Dacher Keltner: Yeah. The very simple experiment that we've done is if we have upper class individuals going through an experience of compassion or see something that portrays suffering, you see rises in generosity to comparable levels of the poor.
Paul Solman: But the simple Darwinian story is if I have more resources than you, I can have more kids than you; my kids will pass on my DNA, which is the resource-hoarding DNA.MORE ON WEALTH AND BEHAVIOR: What Makes Us Happy?
Dacher Keltner: That was sort of an older view of how we evolved as the particular social species we are, but what we're learning through a lot of new advances in evolutionary biology is that we really had to cooperate to make it as a species. We had to cooperate in terms of food gathering, defending against predators and so on. And human cultures evolved particular tendencies to reward the generous -- to ensure that there weren't people hoarding resources and that the resources were more equally distributed.
There are really interesting new literatures on this called competitive altruism, which is as you give things away, in many different cultures, from hunter-gatherer societies to today's America, you rise in the respect of your peers.
Paul Solman: How does this fit into your project here, The Greater Good Science Center?
Dacher Keltner: For a long time, I've been interested in a question that has confounded people who have thought about human evolution, and this goes back to Alfred Russel Wallace, Thomas Huxley and Charles Darwin, which is: Why in the world are people good to other people? Why are we kind? Why do we give things away?
Thirty-one percent of Americans volunteer for strangers on a regular basis. We give enormous amounts away. And what we've started to learn is that there are big parts of our nervous system that make it inherently pleasurable to be generous to others. That's fascinating to me. We are also learning a lot about the social processes by which generosity becomes contagious. It is contagious. There are studies of workplaces where, if I move to a part of an organization where people give a lot to charity, I don't know why, but I start giving a lot to charity. What is it about the species we are that produces a lot of striking generosity in our social behavior?
Paul Solman: And your answer is...?
Dacher Keltner: My answer is hyper-vulnerable offspring that are born very dependent, taking years, decades to reach the age of viability. And that just changed everything. That meant we had to cooperate with each other; we had to share things.
Paul Solman: In the introduction to the 30th anniversary edition of Richard Dawkins' "The Selfish Gene," he said the only thing he would change is he would call the book "The Cooperative Gene."
Dacher Keltner: Yeah. Now I think people who are interested in the evolution of cooperation are realizing that genes and cells have to cooperate with each other to build the systems that make up who we are, and I would push it even further.
I'm really excited about a set of findings about oxytocin, a neuropeptide that's manufactured in your hypothalamus and it goes into your brain, and then shoots through your bloodstream and your body. There are genes that help build up that oxytocin system -- you find one on the third chromosome and people who have a particular version of it are very generous, right. So that tells us you're genetically programmed to cooperate.
We've known for a long time that oxytocin helps with milk letdown and breast feeding, and more recently, studies are finding that it helps you trust and cooperate and share resources with others. And that has led to this whole incredible line of work that we've been part of: that if I just get a little whiff of oxytocin in a nasal spray, I give more money to strangers; I read people's emotions more effectively; I am tighter with my group; if I'm in a fight with my romantic partner, I resolve the conflict more constructively.
Paul Solman: But there's this counter philosophy, exemplified by Ayn Rand, which is that altruism is actually bad because it suppresses our freedom to be ourselves.
Dacher Keltner: Yeah, there's a lot of very deeply entrenched skepticism about altruism in western culture that goes back millennia, and one of the great advocates of this skepticism is Ayn Rand. I'll quote from her 1960 essay: "If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject." And she had this argument that thinking about the needs of others is an enemy of freedom, and strength and self-expression.
There are a lot of new data that show if you're generous, and charitable and altruistic, you'll live longer; you'll feel more fulfilled; you'll feel more expressive of who you are as a person; you probably will feel more control and freedom in your life. So the science calls that thesis into very deep question.
Paul Solman: And yet that's a thesis that has a lot of traction these days.
Dacher Keltner: It does, but, you know, I'm really encouraged by, you know, what's happening with the millennials and the interest that places like Facebook and Google are showing in terms of promoting charity and generosity and a consideration of other people's interests.
I'm lucky enough to be doing a bit of work on Facebook that's oriented towards making their site more compassionate, and they are actively interested in creating pieces of the social network that are for giving away things. So, it's going to be interesting to see if they deliver on that.
Paul Solman: But you're telling our audience that they would be better off if they gave away more.
Dacher Keltner: Yes. We know that generosity gives you bursts of dopamine, which is a sense of pleasure and enthusiasm about life. We know that acts of generosity will activate parts of your peripheral nervous system that calms stress response, which is interesting. So, giving counteracts stress. We know from longitudinal research that people who give through charity 14 hours a week or so -- they live longer. Their life expectancy actually gets a dramatic boost through acts of charity. So, you put this story together: charity gives you happiness; it takes you out of that stress modality and your nervous system towards more optimal functioning, and then it gives you longevity. I don't know what else you need -- those are good data, from my standpoint.
In a week's worth of protests in June 2013, Brazilians showed their anger at the government's spending priorities.
Protesters gather in Curitiba in southern Brazil to begin their nightly protest. All photos are from June 17, 2013. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
Demonstrators rally in front of the Federal University of Parana in Curitiba. They are angry about how the government is allocating funds for health care and education. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
Police officers stand guard in one of the state government buildings of Parana. Brazil hosts the World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in 2016, and some citizens feel the money could be better spent improving the country. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
A protester attempts to scale the gate police erected in front of a government building in Curitiba. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff called an emergency Cabinet meeting Friday to address the week's worth of unrest. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
Riot police were called in to break up the violent protests using tear gas and rubber bullets. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l
Despite efforts by some demonstrators to keep the protests non-violent, others burned government buildings and smashed storefronts. Photo: Vinicius Ferreira/Youth Journalism Int'l